The second day here in Chile I was lucky enough to have my host sister Consuelo Junior (Tety) take me out to Santiago (this helped me to keep my mind off of thinking of home).
Consuelo and I first walked on the dirt road that our ranch is situated on along with many other houses. As you walk past the houses each one is guarded by a gate along with 7-8m high fencing and sometimes barbed wire. Depending if they were trying to guard their grapes as well.
We walk until we hit the main road and wait for something. A collectivo.
Collectivo: basically a taxi that goes on a route and you share it with whoever is in the taxi already and you pay a set fee and you don't tip them.
We get off the colectivo somewhere in Talagante near the plaza centre, and we walked past brightly coloured buildings and run down sidewalks. Minding you that it was winter so the foliage of the trees hasn't spruced the place up yet. We wait a minute for a micro (a bus) but this bus is sooo cheap I read the fares to go to Santiago it was like $2-$3 dollars and Consuelo thought that was expensive. I'm thinking going for 30 minutes by bus to Santiago for like maximum of 3 dollars is a bargain seeing as that Burlington Transit charges you 2.50 to go one way. We end up at my highschool English College.
My older host brother (Jose) would tell that they don't really teach you english there anyways but they still put the highschool's name english ahaha. So my host sister and I went to get my schedule and she knew EVERYONE in the school every step we were stopped to say hi to someone, and here it is customary to kiss people on their right cheek. Even if you don't know the person you will say Hola, kiss, you won't talk to them or even know their name and when you have to leave you say Ciao, and another kiss. They don't even have to know your name but if you tag along someone they know its customary. Needless to say I kissed a lot of people.
We finally got to the point of being able to meet my class 4 medio E. We went to the classroom and I didn't meet them. I tried to understand Consuelo and the teacher so I think he didn't want me in because I would cause a riot seeing as when the door opened heads were already turning and straining to look at me. So I met my host-cousin instead, Nacho. Consuelo has for-warned me about the Chilean guys and to stay away from most of them hahaha. Seeing as we were walking by and we already had a whistle and some looks.
The point of going to school was to assure me if I needed anything I had like a bigillion family members that can help me.
Then my host-dad Fernando drove Consuelo and I to Santiago. It was less than 30 minutes to get there. He dropped us off at La Moneda (President's Buliding) after we parked in a place that looked like a subway staircase apperntly it was parking space, freaked me out. I was told to keep hold of my bag so intially I slung it over my shoulder just for good measure. So we went into the metro (TransSantiago) rode it to a certian point, I just followed my host-sister the whole way.
Chileans always ask if you are hungry (seeing as I eat very little or poco) and well I am not really hungry ever except at night so they are amazed when I hardly eat anything at lunch. So I had some juice called Watt's really good its like puree juice but better. Then we went across the road to her univeristy with the tennis court. While Tety was playing tennis I was practing Spanish. After her tennis match we met up with her friends. We drove to the mall to get some lunch at like 3 pm haha. We ate at a place called Doggi's apparently Tety said its like McDonald's but it really isn't. Maybe a Chilean McDonald's? I had empanadas.
Empanadas: Chilean food, basically deepfriend crispy bread with cheese in the middle it was delicious.
Driving in Chile, well its LOCO (crazy)!!!
The driving lanes that are marked with white paint will magically dissapear and become a free for all. If its a two way road cars will drive in the middle of it until they absolutely have to move to the right side. Cars will drive in the middle of a clearly marked lane, cars will pull out on a turn and be in the way and the on coming car with be like a 1mm away from hitting it. Blinkers are used for a half second or not at all, and well seatbelts are they but not the buckle ahah and if it is well you don't use it.
Coming home after that day and going on the metro again in RUSH HOUR well we had to let the subway car pass at least once to get to one that wasn't suffed to the brim with people. We got a bus back to Talagante when the sun was setting over the mountains, it was gorgeous. We got back to our dirt road and I could see the stars and the milky way seeing as how no streetlights were around at all, you notice what they rob you of.