Saturday, July 31, 2010

Nights in Vienna...and Germany

What a wonderful night we had last night! E's parents invited us to go see the symphony! Anyone that knows me knows how obsessed I am with the theater so I am always delighted when E's parents invite us, which happens to be a lot because they also love the theater and take pity on us because they know we are poor. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that! Whenever they invite us to the theater they always invite us out to eat at some great restaurant after too which is also the ultimate treat since we don't get to go out much, also, because we're poor. So last night was such a treat for us. We both love the symphony and we happend to be going to see "Nights in Vienna" which included Mozart, Schubert, and Strauss and focused on all the famouns waltzes and polkas. The Polka is very dear to my heart because it originated in Czeckslovakia (where my parents are from) and so I have been very familiar with Polka and their gypsy-influenced bohemian dances my whole life. My dad is a musician and has been playing and dancing polkas since he was a boy. Whenever we return to visit our family in Slovakia, we run into polkas at every party and wedding we go to. And I love it. It's such energy-containing music and the dance is full of spinning and twirling and clapping. It's so difficult to stay seated while listening to polkas!

Listening to some of the famous polkas being played in the theater last night reminded me a lot about my roots and of my dad, who I miss so much (along with the rest of my family). I thought of how much my dad would have loved to be there watching that symphony with us. I can't wait to take him when he comes in December! Coming from a small town in Canada, we don't have many opportunities to go and see great symphonies and operas and other great shows of the theater so it's great to have that opportunity here in Santiago where you can virtually go to the theater every night to see some spectacular show. As soon as I make enough money I am buying a season's pass to the theater! I decided that a looong time ago!

Anyway, this show was amazing. The director was from Vienna and I have never seen a director so animated and happy and visibley inlove with the music. He had a smile on his face the entire night and was laughing and singing and playing along as he directed the symphony. Sometimes he would pick up a violin or a bell or some other little instrument and join in with the music. He constantly turned around to face the audience and smiled and brought us into the music. I've never felt so apart of the symphony before. The best part was during all the fast and exciting waltzes and polkas. The director started directing us in clapping to the rhythm of the music, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, sometimes quieter, then louder, then at different speeds....it was so great!!! What a wonderful feeling it was to be so apart of the music! Everyone was on the verge of getting up and stomping their feet and dancing! Those are my polkas!!! Then at the end of the evening, we actually all did get up to dance! The director taught us a typical Austrian dance and the symphony played while we stomped our feet and clapped our hands going faster and faster and faster! I tell you, I have never enjoyed a symphony so much before in my life! We were almost sweating by the time the night was over! What an amazing show! I believe it's playing again tonight so whoever enjoys the symphony and wants to see a lively and animates show, go see this one!!!

After the show we went for dinner at this amazing German restaurant called Tante Merlen (I think). It's somewhere in the Metro Manuel Montt area but I don't know exactly where because it was night time and I'm horrible enough as it is with figuring out where the hell I am during the day time. Just google it if you're interested. The service was unbelievable. The owner came to chat with us various times throughout the night, as did the head chef! They were so warm and charming. I had lamb, E had some kind of delicious meat with spitzel (not exactly sure how to spell that) but it's a German potatoe based noodle, E's dad had some other kind of meat with spitzel, and E's mom had goulash with spitzel. All delicious! Sorry...I can't remember the names of what they ordered but it was mouthwatering! I guess I wouldnt' be good at writing a food blog lol! I enjoyed myself so much with E and his parents, the evening was full of good conversation, good food, and good German beer! Top top it all off, the owner ended up giving us a nice fat discount on our bill so we left feeling satisfied and happier than ever. I can't wait to bring my family there!

Ohhh I wish I could do that night all over again! I want to go to the symphony and eat good food again! God I can't wait until we start making real money!

Tonight is bound to be another great night too because it's one of my gringa friends birthday today and she's celebrating it at a club! I really can't wait because it's been a long time since I went out to a club to dance!

So now I leave you as I venture off to cook fajitas for lunch! I'm back to my "creative experimenting in the kitchen" phase again. First time making them, but they shouldn't be too tough. And with that, I leave you with one final note...

HAPPY 5.5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TO ME AND E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yaaaayyyy!!!!! Te amo mi amor de mi vidaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! Look how far we've come!!!!!!! Here's to many more years together and no more years apart!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

As Promised...Pictures of the Weekend!















My Week in a Nut Shell

It's been a while I know. In Canada, it was so much easier to blog all the time because I didn't have a life. I was a student 24/7 sitting infront of the computer all day and so blogging was kind of like my little break from studying. Now that I actually have a life here in Santiago and am infront of the computer very little, it makes finding time to blog a lot more challenging. Everyday I usually get home around 6pm and then E gets home soon after, and then we use the few hours before going to bed cooking and spending time together. And lately I've been getting home late since my social life is a lot more busier here in Chile and I have been going to meet friends almost every other day after work.

Last week for example, I had plans every day after work. Monday I went to this guys place check out a guitar that I wanted to buy E for his birthday. I didn't end up buying it unfortunately because it had been broken once before and so I didn't really trust it. Tuesday I went to the first book club meeting that a bunch of us from Chilespouses started up and I'm super excited about it! First book on the list, "The Turning of the Screw". I've always been a huge reader and am so happy to finally have the chance to join a great group of ladies in monthly meetings where we can socialize and share our love of books. The first meeting was quite a success and I'm very much looking forward to the next one! After the meeting I went to a friends house who also happens to be in the book club and we cracked open a bottle of wine. I love spontaneous outings such as these. Wednesday I met a friend for coffee at Starbucks, Thursday was happy hour night at the Peluqueria with my fellow gringas (can't get enough of that place!!!), and finally Friday E and I went out to dinner with my boss and a mutual friend and their partners at Los Cuates on Manuel Montt.

Whoever likes Mexican food, do visit this restaurant. The address is Manuel Montt 235 I believe and the food is wonderful! It's actually real Mexican food and they even make their own corn tortillas! A lot of the servers are even Mexican and they play traditional Mexican music in the evenings (I'm not sure if this is every evening since we went on a Friday so it may just be the weekend). I will be returning there again without a doubt! Oh and just a heads up, this place has the most adorable server you have ever seen. He's Mexican and never stops smiling. Whenever you talk to him he shakes his head profusely, smiling all the while, and he treats you like you're family and like you've known each other for years. I've never seen him not smile and he's got one of those adorable infectious smiles where you can't help but laugh/smile back. E and everyone at our table were commenting on how absolutely wonderful and pleasant he was. The other time E and I had gone there with friends, by the time we were leaving this server was practically hugging us and patting us on the back and we left feeling like old friends. Go there and you'll see what I"m talking about. We wanted to buy him a beer by the end of our dinner and invite him to join us, he was that great! It's so nice to see such great service every once in a while. It's definitely one of the reasons we will return.

Anyway, where was I, oh yes, Friday. So that concluded the busy week! Saturday we used to just rest and watch a couple movies while eating the amazing lasagna I created. Seriously to die for. Then, as if a full Saturday not doing anything was too much time spent resting, we decided to climb Pochoco on Sunday since it was such a beautiful day. We took E's family's crazy dog and hiked and took pictures and played in the snow. I'll post some pictures following this post. It was glorious! Just a heads up though...be careful hiking in the wintertime. As we got closer to the summit, the snow began piling up and there were quite a few instances where I almost slid out of control into on of those huge cactuses! Go with proper hiking boots!

And now we're back to the beginning of this week which is turning out be be much less eventful than the last. Today I'm going to work late because I have to go and get my fifth and final rabies shot!!! Wooooheeeee!!! Can't wait to get that over and done with! It's been such a pain hunting down which clinics and consultorios have the vaccine. Even as I write this I don't know exactly where I'm going to go get the shot. I called one clinic and they said they didn't have any. Then I called a consultorio and they said they didn't know if they had any and she refused to go and check for me!....um...very professional...So, I guess I'm going to keep calling to figure it out! Wish me luck! After this I swear I will take every precaution to never again be bitten by a dog again! Hunting down these vaccines has been way worse than the bite itself!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Peluqueria Francesa and E the Meat Pro

I am getting a little annoyed with myself...I have a million things I think of throughout the day that I want to blog about and then when I sit infront of the screen, poof, they dissapear! Argh! It´s frustrating! I´m going to have to start carrying around a notebook or something! I guess I´ll just start typing and see where I end up...Let´s start with a little update.

Work is getting busier and busier, which I´m happy about. But there´s one major problem. I don´t think I mentioned this before but I don´t get paid. Yup. This job opportunity is actually an internship and it´s not a paid internship. Lucky me I know. But still, it´s an awesome opportunity and I´m lucky to have it and I´m going to stick with it until the end. It´s only three months and would allow me to apply for many good jobs in the area which is why the not getting paid part didn´t seem like a big deal at the time.

However, now E and I are definitely starting to feel the lack of resources. Because of this, I might be forced to teach English again for a while. I know I said I would never teach English again in Chile, but a girl´s gotta do what a girl´s gotta do. With the apartment and living expensese, and the wedding coming up, I seriously need to start bringing more cash to the table. It´s funny, throughout my life I´ve always felt money to be limitless...this is the first time where I´ve felt the harsh reality of a strict budget. So, I´ve contacted the old institute I used to teach English for to ask for some hours and hopefully they´ll give me some. I´m just so lucky I have such a supportive fiance to accept getting by on such a tight budget so that I can do what I want to do. But God I can´t wait to get a real job!!!

Now I just want to take a moment to tell everybody about my new favorite bar in Santiago. Okay I admit I don´t know that many but I think everybody should go see this place because it´s absolutely amazing. The place is called Peluqueria Francesa and Kyle introduced me to the place this week when she suggested we go for drinks there. You can get an idea of the place from Kyle´s photo session she did there. It is UNBELIEVABLE!!! I am all about cool, quirky, original, historical type places and this bar outdid itself in all these categories! The place is filled with mirrors...so many in fact that you start to feel like you´re in one of those house of mirros at a circus and you start to lose the ability to distinguish a mirror from a window. The bar is lit with soft lighting from little lamps and is filled with real antiques purchased from all over the place which are actually for sale! How cool is it that you can shop for antiques while you´re sipping your pisco sour? Not to mention that beside the bar is the actual peluqueria (barber salon) so as you walk into the building you see this little old fashion place with men getting their hair cut ha ha! It´s absolutely charming. The happy sours are also delicious and happy hour is from 9am to 9pm which is quite convenient for those of us that like to our morning pisco sours he he. Are they actually allowed to serve alcohol in the morning here? Didn´t know that! Anyhow, the happy sours are delicious! I had a papaya sour followed by a chocolate-something sour which is unbelievable! I recommend you try the last one...though I can´t remember the full name. Great experience alltogether and I can´t wait to go back!!!

Seeing the Peluqueria Francesa and the adorable little neighborhood it´s in really made me realize I need to get out more. Living and working in Providencia results in me not getting out much. Going to the Peluqueria reminded me that theres soooo much I still need to see in Santiago! I´ve always had this idea of randomly going out to different parts of town to explore and I never really do get a chance to do it. Something always comes up. I told E on Thursday that Saturday I wanted to explore some part of the city with him, since we´ve both wanted to do this for a while. However, last night I had a bbq with some gringa friends and their partners and we didn´t end up going to sleep until 3:30am! The bbq was great fun and I´m glad I got the chance hang out with some of the awesome people I´ve come to know here. The only little glitch was that my hilarious, darling little E kind of bombed the meat portion of the evening. It took forever to cook because it was so cold and when he finally turned up the fire, he ended up burning everything and over cooking it. I´m sorry guys! Next one will be better ha ha! Well, in his defense, it was damn cold and the meat couldn´t cook evenly. But usually he´s good with bbq´s, I swear!

Anyway, we just woke up now and it´s 2pm and we barely have enough time to run a few errands and do our laundry before going to a wedding tonight. So no exploring of the city for us today. On top of that, my poor baby can´t get out of bed because he has a pounding headache! At first I thought it was a hangover but it seems to be a bit more serious because he can barely open his eyes. I´m thinking migrane? Well, hopefully he gets better soon or there will be no wedding for us tonight!

And now I´m going for a run! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Beach Time!!!

I just had to post to say that I´m so freaking happy! It´s Friday, the weekend is before us, and me and my hunny are going to the beach!!! Yaaayyy!!! My bags are packed, arrangements have been made, and food has been bought...a lot of food...including an assortment of my favorite Chilean temptations: "obsession" and white chocolate dougnut cookies....mmmmmm...

For those of you that have never tried obsession and white chocolate dougnut cookies I suggest you go to the supermarket and buy some now! Obsession are these little rolled up crisps filled with different kinds of things such as peanut butter or chocolate mush. The little white dougnut cookies, which I lovingly call them, are probably my favorite goodies of all time. The name on the package just says "Dougnut" but don´t let the name fool you, they are not in fact dougnuts, rather, they are little biscuts that are trying to be dougnuts but haven´t quite gotten there. They are called dougnuts based on the mere fact that they are circular in shape with a hole in the middle. They´re not even soft and chewy like a dougnut and they are the size of a table spoon. The best part about these "dougnuts" is the finishing touch which is a capsule of delicious white chocolate...or at least it´s something delicious that is supposed to represet white chocolate. But the point is, I CAN´T GET ENOUGH OF THEM!!! I´m so tempted to rip open the bag right NOW!!!

I can´t believe I just spent this entire post talking about cookies when my original goal was to write a one-liner about going to the beach. It´s amazing what a post can evolve into without even meaning to...

Well, since I finished at work I have been sitting here in my little corner, eyeing my packpack sitting by the door, counting the minutes until E arrives so we can go already! And he just arrived! So that means that it´s off to the beach for me! Off to take a mental holiday and relax in that gorgeous place that I love so much!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It´s Raining It´s Pouring...

One of my favorite Santiago winter moments...when it´s raining and cold outside and I´m inside curled up by the estufa reading (or on my labtop in this case). I have the perfect little cubby hole to sit curled up in too, and it´s in my favorite place in the apartment...the kitchen. The owners of this apartment changed the laundry room into an extension of the kitchen. Instead of normal walls, this little extension is made up of glass walls so that you have a view of the city on every side. It´s the perfect little place to sit and write or read. Right now I have food cooking on the stove and the smell is adding to the delicious cozy comfy feeling I´m basking in at the moment. Add to that my mug of steamy hot tea and I feel like it´s Christmas time. I love it.

Speaking of Christmas, I now know why every time I pass by Castanos I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. The smell reminds me of Christmas! All those sweet warm oders are exactly what I smell when I´m baking with my mom in the cold winter months of Canada! No wonder I feel so happy passing by Castanos! For those of you not familiar with Castanos, it´s a delicious little bakery that you can find on pretty much every street corner in Santiago and it´s mmm mmm good! Sometimes when I´m passing by a Castano I have to fight back the urge to go inside and buy all those warm gooey little baked goods! But usually it´s a no-win battle and more often than not, I come back home with a bag full of goodies he he.

Things on the working front are going along swimmingly. I´m slowly starting to be entrusted with more and more responsibilities and I´m finally starting to get past that awkward adaptation phase you experience on the first couple weeks at a new job and are a little lost and unsure of exactly what to do. In fact, I´ve already gone out for lunch with the boss twice! Oh yeah...I´m special! I must say though, I have a pretty amazing boss! I couldn´t have been more lucky!

Another positive spin on my work is that I just found out I live right next to a gringa friend! I was supposed to meet this friend at her house for coffee today and had been there once before at night so I thought I had a pretty good idea of where it was since it was near my work. So I took off in search of her house and walked...and walked...and walked...her apartment wasn´t where it had been in my mind. After I had pretty much explored all of Tobalaba and El Golf, and after having two or three phone conversations with this friend trying to figure out where I was and how to get to her apartment, I discovered that she lived just across the street from my work! And I don´t mean somewhere over there across from where I work...I literally mean that all I had to do was go to the cross walk infront of my work building, walk 10 steps to the other side of the street, and there is her place! I´m such a moron when it comes to "ubicating" myself in this city...no...anywhere actually. The place in my brain that should be reserved for spacial orientation has been replaced by some other type of processing center...probably another food center because I am constantly craving it! Why oh why do I love food so much!??! But that topic is for another post....Okay now I´m off topic, where was I?

Alright so, it is now late and I just got home and now have about an hour before I spontaneously crash and fall asleep. I still can´t get used to having a work schedule and having to get up early and be gone all day! Though very fulfilling, rewarding, and enjoyable, it can get exhausting and leaves little room for "me" time. I am a person that desperately needs her 8 plus hours of sleep and so if I don´t get it, I sprial into a state of semi-consciousness/disorientation after a given amount of time so I better stop writing before this ends up making no sense whatsoever. Actually, it´s probably getting there. Just wanted to post something because it feels like I haven´t posted in a while and I don´t want to slack off with my beloved blog!!!

Good night to all and to all a good night!!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

If you are thinking about getting bitten by a dog in the next while...I suggest you wait until Santiago can scrounge up a few more rabies vaccinations. I had my second rabies vaccination on Friday and was supposed to go to a consultora to get it but was sent to the hospital because they were the only one´s that had any vaccinations left in all of Santiago! I thought, okay it´s fine, they´ll have a couple hundred vaccinations stocked piled there. Wrong! While the nurse was getting ready to give me my shot, we were talking about when I need to come back. Then she said to call to make sure they had any vaccine left because as of that moment, the hospital had only three doses left and I was using one of them! She then went on to tell me that no clinic or consultora in Santiago has any vaccine left! Lucky me! E´s mom was with me and was trying to figure out how this was even possible. She asked when they would get more but of course, nobody knew. God I couldn´t have picked a more perfect time to get attacked by a dog!

I know I probably have nothing to worry about but still...there is that tiny little chance that the dog could have had rabies and I wouldn´t want to not finish my vaccination schedule and then regret it in the future. I am supposed to have my next shot in 5 days and it´s unlikely that Santiago will get more vaccination out of nowhere since they haven´t had any for quite a while. However, the nurses seemed unphased by the lack of rabies treatment and even laughed at the fact. I did not think it was so funny. How is it possible that the biggest city in the country, where there are 10 stray dogs on every corner and where there could be a potential rabies breakout any day because of it, has no rabies vaccine? I´m just hoping that they have some of the vaccine in Vina or somewhere closeby so that if I had to, I could go find it in a city close to Santiago! Then again, maybe the vaccine will appear in these next few days and all will be well. Sigh...

On t he brighter side of things...it´s the weekend! And I´m so happy because of it! Today was a "dia del mundial" (world cup day) as E likes to put it and we went to his sisters house to spend the day watching the Germany-Argentina game where Argentina lost 0-4!!! All I can say is how emberassing for Argentina!!! Poor Maradona...I guess he´s not the god he thought he was! Then we had lunch and watched the Spain-Paraguay game where unfortunately, Paraguay lost 0-1 :(

Tomorrow E and I have a lovely day planned going out for a drive to the place we´re getting married and spending the day there. If the weather is going to be anything like today, it´s bound to be a fabulous day! Well, it´s bound to be a fabulous day no matter what the weather´s like, as long as I´m with my hunny!

And with that I´m off to go watch a movie with E. We´re thinking about Shutter Island. Anyone seen it? I´m a big horror movie freak. Well, not so much horror as thriller. I´m not big into the blood and guts Saw type of stuff. Hope everyone´s enjoying the weekend!

P.S. Happy late Canada day and happy early 4th of July!!!