Santiago, Santiago, Saaaaaanntiaaaagoooooooooo!!
You could almost sing Luis Mariano’s song “Mexico”, and replace it with the word “Santiago” (French people will immediately understand what I mean)… Firstly, both words end with “o”, thus it’s easy. Secondly, Santiago is the first city where I encountered so many religious, crazy people with megaphones screaming passages of the bible in the streets. And, the song do states that under the sun, people become crazy [“Sous le soleil de Mexico, On devient fou,…”] but the comparison stops there!
At the time, Santiago sounded like a decent plan, sounded bueno (good) to me. But, uh, turns out it was no bueno (not good) at all. It was probably the ugliest city I’ve been so far! Such a shame when you see these amazing buildings abandoned, the facades tagged with graffiti, and garbage all over the streets! This city needs a good spring clean!
And, unfortunately, I stayed in a dorm where a f%!£# stupid dumb idiot guy had his alarm clock set to ring every hour from 3am till 9am!! And, the worse was he slept through it, and woke up at 10am for breakfast!! Why one set his alarm clock at 3am to wake up at 10am?!? Someone needs to explain this to me…
But, I am being pessimistic… everything was not all bad, there were a few ups: watching chess games on the plaza, eating seafood in the central market, drinking Starbucks coffee on a sunny terrace, watching men getting their shoes shine and my day trip to Valparaiso (seaside port; literally translated as “Valley Paradise”) with an Australian girl named Camille.
In Valparaiso, we found this cozy boat-shaped restaurant where we spent the whole day chatting, drinking great wine, eating amazing dishes and listening to good music. One of these rare perfect moments in life where it feels like time stands still, where you just live in the moment (the past is left behind & the future is set aside), where all that matters is the people you’re with and the conversation you’re having. It was a perfect day, a perfect moment!!
In the end, I wished I had stayed longer in Paradise Valley (Valparaiso) instead of Hell Valley aka Santiago!! But, I don’t possess a magic crystal bowl and can’t predict how things are going to turn out… so my choice to spend several days in Santiago was a bad choice. But I have no regrets! Now, I know better (for next time). 🙂
ps: Happy Mother’s day Mom!! Love you!! Miss you!!