Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shopping the Produce Market


The other day Rocio and I trekked down to the produce market to pick up some vegetables.  Unlike the farmer’s markets of the USA everything is actually cheaper at these places.  Some of the highlight purchases included:

2 pounds of Kiwis for 80 cents

8 pounds of potatoes for 1 dollar

2 pounds of apples for 60 cents

1 head of Garlic for 20 cents

All in all it was a good day and I have been living on vegetables since.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nobody told me this…


(WIKI)   The Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea), also known as the Chilean flame tarantula, Chilean fire tarantula or the Chilean red-haired tarantula or the Chilean rose hair tarantula (depending on the colormorph), is probably the most common species of tarantula available in pet stores today, due to the large number of wild caught specimens exported cheaply from their native Chile into the US pet trade.

So I came back from work today and guess what I spotted walking on the front step of the building…. HOLY CRAP

I am not scared of many things but let’s just say that it was not the most comfortable thing to step over on my way in.  I didn’t have the camera on me and the guy at the front desk scooped it up with a broom and moved it after I let him know it was there.  Crisis averted.

Chilean have the freedom to Barbecue

In honor of the 200th anniversary of Chilean Independence the regular festivities held on the 18th of September ran from Thursday to Monday.  This all added up to a long long weekend of fun and probably about 10 extra pounds.


To start the weekend off right I headed to an apartment gathering Thursday night and imbibed in a few beverages and ate a ton of food.


Then to jumpstart the next day I headed to the Botanical Garden here in Vina del Mar for a massive cookout.




This is the appetizers of 3 full rounds of meat that were cooked on the grill not including the salads etc. (AKA the stuff I didn’t eat.  Just meat for me).


Saturday brought a trip to the Ramada (Not the hotel but the area with amusements, food, and shopping)


This also led to Terremotos (A drink consisting of sweet wine, rum, and pineapple ice cream)


Then after a few of these we packed up and caught the fireworks that were directly in front of my apartment.


To wrap up the weekend I was taken to my ladyfriend’s parents house for yet another barbecue.  I have yet to take a picture of my waistline but let it be known that I actually ate a salad yesterday by choice just to try and counteract some of the effects.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Over a Month in Chile

It is hard to believe that I have been in Chile for over a month now.  I remember my bus trip here vividly so it hadn’t really sat in until I went to pay rent on the apartment yesterday.  It is over a month since I moved into my apartment and about a month and a half since I arrived in the country.

P9030087  (picture of me with a very odd dog)

In update I am currently teaching a private instruction English lesson at an Institute here to a student who is studying for the American SAT Test.  I am teaching him how to write the essay so if you are actually reading this try not to snicker at my inability to write because when it comes to writing for grades I actually try (a little bit). 

The pay is under the table and so I have not secured a work visa to stay in the country.  This is quite a problem because my visa is for 90 day and my apartment is for 4 months (doing math in head…).  This means barring a work visa miracle I will need to ride the but to Argentina for a couple of nights (6+hours each way) and then try and convince the border to let me back in.

Getting back in the country could prove difficult because there is often suspicion that people staying longer are working illegally (now who would do that?).  To counter this possibility I might have to buy a return ticket in advance to the USA just so they are certain that I am not leeching off their system (once somebody has paid for a ticket governments tend to believe they are leaving).

The lease on my apartment ends on the 15th of December and there is a lot of time before then but I could be heading back to the states before Christmas… of course I would love to bus the whole way there but we will see where the cheap tickets are at and go from there….


Until then I will just be living it up here in Chile….

BTW anybody know of some work I could start in the USA at the beginning of January or so???

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Found a little work

I have been trying to make a little bit of cash to help supplement the small amount I traveled down to Chile with and I have decided to use the English Instruction certifications that I picked up in England.  I sent out emails to about 15 different places in the 3 months before I traveled to South America with very limited success but when I was in Peru I received an email from the Instituto Chileno Britanico


It has been an odd hiring process thus far that included a 2 part test on English skills and on Teaching skills in the primary interview and a call back that said they would set up an interview in the next couple of days that took 2 weeks and 2 trips down there by me to get set up and then over the past weekend I received a call stating that I would be needed to pick up a private lesson on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  I was once again told that I would hear back from them on Saturday to confirm all the details (which turned out to be 11pm on Sunday).


Alas, I taught my first lesson on Monday at 10am.  It was only supposed to be one hour 3 times a week but my student has upped his course-load to 2 hours a day so I am not on the calendar for 6 hours a week and there is a possibility of them starting a Saturday class for me from 9am until 1 pm. 

Now if I only knew how much they were going to pay me and how….. (guess I need to focus on that now that I am working).

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Big Budget Events

OK so the weather isn’t perfect here so I have to find something to do when the beach is not a possibility so Filet Mignon and Open Bars serve as my backup to a day of sun and sand.

I recently crashed a wedding to keep it interesting…


Technically I was Rocio’s plus one but I was the only gringo in the house


I even cleaned up my act a bit for the affair…. (note: I borrowed a suit.  I do not have one with me)  ((Note to self: Buy a sweet suit))


This is just the desert table for the self service… the rest was all served


I even stole a dance with the bride.  The gringo stole the show.


More photos on facebook

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

All my time on the beach


When I walk outside of my place everyday this is roughly my view.  Technically I live on the far left of this photo, but this is from the bridge I cross to make it to the beach.  The weather here is winter but it has been ranging from 50 degrees up to the 80s or so.


A short walk from my place is the public beach that people are always out relaxing on and I have started to join them.  If the weather permits I try and go relax for an hour or so and get some much needed sun… I can’t wait for the weather to heat up a bit.


There is also a boardwalk that runs along it and there is a park.  If you are in Vina del Mar at any time and trying to find me…. this is a good place to start.