It’s been 6 days since I arrived in Chile so I figured it was time to share a few of my random thoughts on what I have seen and experienced.
1. Chileans are some of the most hospitable people I have met. Since I’ve been here, I have been blessed with one person after another reaching out to me with help, a place to stay, and hours upon hours of their time. It has actually made me rethink how I treat visitors to NY. For example, a waiter at a café struck up a conversation with me yesterday. After hearing what my plans were and that I was traveling by myself, he gave me his cell number and offered to show me around. This was after I threw in some “guy talk” to make sure we were on the same page for the conversation. That brought about him talking about his girlfriend for a bit and how she lives in Canada, where he just moved from after 7 years. The timing won’t work out for me to give him a call, but the gesture definitely makes an impact on your perception of people.
2. The more I travel, the more I realize that the U.S. plays such a significant role in global music, cinema, and art. I know this is a fact that everyone already knows but each time I travel, I am reminded more and more. Besides seeing billboards everywhere for Black Swan, I can’t tell you how many times I walk by a house and hear Usher or Black Eye Peas blaring from the radio inside. I find it funny to a certain degree but also feel a sense of responsibility on behalf of the states for us to keep producing Katy Perry hits. Also, reggae tone is huge in South America and Faith No More is apparently the biggest rock band around.
3. From what I have seen, and it’s only been 5 days, but Chileans seem to value close proximity to family more than Americans. Down here, it doesn’t seem very popular to leave your family to go live in another city.
4. I have gone on three 10km runs since I have been down here; two with friends and one on my own. Because the air is very dry, I sweat less than when I am in NY, but it’s still in the 80’s each day, which means I am pretty sweaty once the run is through. Needless to say, my one pair of running clothes doesn’t smell the best and it’s only a week into the trip. At this point, they could probably walk to the bar on their own and take my wallet with them. Seems like I will be doing more laundry than I originally planned.
5. McDonald’s pretty much rules the world along with Starbucks. I was also surprised to see a bunch of Dunkin Donut’s down here along with the occasional Blockbuster Video. I guess Netflix hasn’t put them completely out of business yet.
6. Putting any warm blooded male with heart problems on a beach with all Chilean and Argentine women could result in many trips to the hospital due to heart failure. Let’s just say that the quality of women and lack of swimwear is a lethal combination. Ay de mi.
A full post will be on the way about the interesting city of Valparaiso.