REFLECTIONS ON ARGENTINA AND CHILE
27.03.2015 - 11.04.2015
Here I sit in the Santiago airport reflecting on another wonderful holiday that has flown by. As always it has been a wonderful learning experience and tons of fun especially traveling with the Gabriels.
We have shared lots of laughs and none more than when we attempted to speak Spanish. Despite Sherry’s insistence that she was going to get us by with her university Spanish brushed up with a little iphone app, I am taking credit for the best application. Still, we must give credit to Isaac for his ability to loudly ask for the check at every restaurant. “ La quenta por favor” which Sherry could only manage when she pulled back her shoulders and thrust out her chest. Tony, however, gets the award for effort with his approach to simply add an “o” to any English word. Oddly enough it worked a lot. An ice cream cone is a cono, festival is festivo but sadly, no one understood when he said “keep the chango”.
I have to mention our big laugh of the day when Isaac tripped over his own feet this morning at a small gift shop in the market and fell into the wall. The funniest part was seeing the shop keeper still cracking up laughing 10 minutes later. Those feet have held up incredibly well this trip.
There are lots of things I will remember about Argentina and Chile.
Things I will remember about Argentina:
1. Every restaurant charges a cubierto per person and it is not optional. It is the “cover charge” for the fork, knife, placemats and bread you receive at the table. It costs between $2 and $4 dollars.
2. The Tango is a real part of life and young people go to bars or Milonga’s to dance.
3. Meat, meat and more meat. A serving is often 12+ ounces.
4. Dulce de leche on everything at every meal.
5. The Chimichurri sauce.
6. Taxis are cheap and easy to flag in the streets except when the downtown area in Buenos Aires is too full and they refuse to take you.
7. Everyone seemed to understand Celiac’s disease and gluten free food. There is a law that says restaurants must accommodate celiacs.
8. There is very little English, but why should there be?
9. The neighborhoods of San Telmo and La Boca in Buenos Aires, full of color and character.
10. How friendly and helpful people are.
11. There are 7 Argentina Pesos in a Canadian Dollar (official rate). The Blue rate is more like 10.
12. Great wines.
Thing I will remember about Chile
1. Not being certain we would get in the country having failed to research entry for single parents with a minor.
2. The crazy hairpin turns on the highway as we crossed into Chile on our amazing bus ride.
3. The people making out in public absolutely everywhere. Serious making out.
4. The excellent subway system in Santiago.
5. The incredibly beautiful city of Valparasio with all the street art.
6. All the stray dogs, and the dog poop all over Valparasio.
7. That there is even less English than in Argentina.
8. How friendly and helpful people are.
9. No one seemed to understand Celiac’s disease or gluten free food.
10. The beautiful view of the mountains surrounding Santiago.
11. There are 500 Chilean Pesos in a Canadian Dollar.
12. Great wines.
13. PISCO SOURS!!
I will also remember the many different names I had when guides were picking us up. We have been Shelley, Ashley, Gloria, Isaac and Bailey. Just about any combination of those but never the Gabriels.
As always, I am grateful for the gift of travel. I have touched soil on my 6th continent at the ripe ole age of 47 and my son has accomplished the same at 16. Wow. Anyone want to help fund a trip to Antarctica?