Sunday, July 10, 2011

Happy Sunday :)

Oh life...I love you. Things are good.

I have big news....ready?! No, I'm not pregnant...

NEXT WEEKEND WE'RE FINALLY MOVING INTO OUR NEW APARTMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's finally happening! After months of planning and paperwork and banks and headaches and all that crap, we're finally getting this show on the road. The owners are handing over the keys on Wednesday or Thursday and then we're using next weekend to move in. So I may not be blogging next weekend since we will probably be too busy with moving in and organizing and all that jazz. We're going to try to get most of the heavy lifting done on Saturday so that Sunday we can just spend cleaning and organizing etc. We made a deal with our friends and family, if they come help us move on Saturday, I will prepare my famous great big cheesy lasagna which they love and we'll make a party out of it. Of course, everyone agreed, so Saturday will be a fun moving day.

Life in general has been great lately, I've been so happy...WE'VE been so happy, my hubby and I that is. Things just seem perfect and just as they should, and right now I could imagine myself living in Santiago forever. Of course there are days where I still get pangs of homesickness and want to get on the next plane back to Canada, but those moments are becoming fewer and fewer and I'm adjusting and adapting to life in Chile.

Work is just awesome. I love it. Even though I work 11-12 hours a day and pretty much get home and go right to sleep during the week, I love the crowd I work with, I love the evironment, I love my boss, and I love being useful and working hard for something, even though I might not have the most glamours position in the company....yet ;) Last Thursday there was a huge happy hour at a bar in Las Condes for our company and about 70 people went. I went with a few of my workmates and got to know them a lot better. We had such a good time and by the end of the evening we were on our feet dancing. We made plans to go out dancing again next Friday. It had been so long since I had last danced and it felt wonderful. I can't wait until Friday. The plan is to go for dinner, drinks, and then out on the town.

Last night E and I went to the mall up in La Dehesa because we thought that the farthest mall would have the least number of people in it. It turns out we were right. It is now our favorite mall. Well, my favorite, E hates malls in general. I don't love it because it's the most beautiful mall in Santiago, I love it because you don't find any of the horrific hoards of people pullulating the mall left right and center that exist in Parque Arauco or even that other mall in lower Las Condes. I was completely impressed. The atmosphere was so relaxed, there was a band playing somewhere, people strolled and walked relaxed around the mall window shopping instead of storming around pushing and shoving like I normally experience in other malls. And this was a Saturday night! It might have something to do with the fact that the mall is somewhat outdoors and since it's winter and cold, people prefer to be in heated malls. So we'll just see what happens when summer comes around, but at least I found my mall of choice for the winter. Besides the absence of people at this mall, there were also way better discounts and so many more than at the other malls! I normally hate shopping in Chile but this was actually a very pleasant experience, which is why I am posting this, incase anybody else feels the same as I do and wants to find somewhere to shop in peace.

And now here I sit, in our soon to be nighborhood Starbucks. I walked here this morning with my labtop since we currently have no internet. E is at soccer with his league and is picking me up to go to his parents for lunch after the game. I love these nice relaxing mornings. I walked here from our apartment down Lyon, one of my favorite streets in Santiago because of the huge Platano Orientales that line it. Its a semi-sunny fall day and there still a few orange leaves coating the streets. God I love days like this! This Starbucks brings back so many memories. When I first came to Chile, this was the first Starbucks I went to since it was close to the institute I taught English at, it quickly became my favorite Starbucks and I came here almost every day. When I lived in Chile for a year and 4 months during my university days, we lived close to here as well and so I would come here again and again, with friends, with E, by myself...It's amazing to look back on all those times when I was still a student, when E and I didn't know what was to become of our relationship, when I was struggling in school, dying to get out, dreaming of a day like today when I would live a stable life with E in one country, and see how much as changed. Life is crazy, life is awesome.

And now I'm off to catch up with all the emailing and facebooking I've missed in this past week without internet, then it's off to have lunch with the in-laws. Today is actually a very important lunch since E's family and I are meeting E's sisters in-laws for the first time. They just got engaged so the two families finally decided it was time to meet. So this will be fun :)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

One of My Favorite Group: Inti Illimani

IT´S COOOOLLDDD!!!

Don´t get me wrong, I love the cold, and I know I was asking for it, but it´s different from back home in Canada where you can enjoy the cold ouside for a while, and then go inside to a nice warm house or coffee shop or whatnot. Here, you´re going from the bitter cold outside, to the just as bitter cold inside. Most people don´t have or use central heating in Chile so most of us have to get used to going to bed with freezing noses poking through the 20 layers of blankets we have cloaking our beds. We have so many blankets piled on our bed that I can barely move from the weight of them when I tuck myself into my bed at night. The worst part is waking up at 6am and seeing your breath as you walk to the bathroom to take a shower and have to wait a whole 3 minutes stark naked as you wait in the shower for the water to heat up. Friday night and Saturday night parts of Santiago reached -7C and -8C respectively! I feel like I´m back in Canada, except without the pretty snow and central heating. Okay, enough complaining, no matter how cold I get, I prefer it 10000 times more than the brutal summer Santiago heat. I´m happy to bundle up in nice warm sweaters and boots, my favorite things to wear.

Friday was Canada day, and because the only Canadian I know is currently in Canada, I didn´t have anyone to celebrate it with so it was just another normal day. July 4th steals all of Canada day´s thunder down here in Latin America ha ha. When I tried explaining Canada day at work, nobody even know about it and some thought I was confused for American Independance Day. Poor Canada, always taking a backseat to the States ;). However, I did have a pretty good Canada Day, even if I wasn´t celebrating Canada in particular. I did go to see my favorite group play with my darling husband and his parents. Inti-Illimani played at a big outdoor theater in Peñalolen Friday night and I was so excited to go since I haven´t seen them in so long. I have already been to 4 of their concerts and I NEVER get tired of them!

I´m not really a big concert person so the fact that I never get tired of going to see Inti-Illimani is really surprising to me and my husband. I just can´t get enough. They are the most talented group I have ever seen in my life. The combination of all those instruments mixed with their powerful sharp voices just takes my breath away. They also sing and play with such passion and their songs carry so much meaning because many of them represent important events and difficult times in Chilean history. Inti-Illimani used to be one group but years ago they separated into two groups due to differences in opinion regarding their musical style. One group wanted to incorporate new talent and new styles of music while the other group wanted to stick to the same style of music and not incorporate any new members. The two groups became known as "Inti-Illimani" (the former) and "Inti-Illimani Historico" (the latter). My favorite is "Inti-Illimani" just because their music keeps evolving and I love the way they have updated many of their songs and added a more modern and energetic spin to them. They are truly a treat for the ears. During their concerts, they pass around their instruments and laugh and dance and have so much fun on stage. They also talk about important issues in Chile throughout their shows and really reach out to the audience. At all of their concerts I feel like I´m at a big yet somewhat intimate party.

Of course since the members of Inti-Illimani started out as communists and are now passive leftists, their concerts attract many communist and leftist crowds, especially since many of their songs represent communist ideals. One of their songs called "Venceremos" (We Shall Win) actually became the anthem of the Popular Unity Government (a coalition of the leftist governments in Chile) of Salvador Allende. At the moment of the Chilean coup of September 11th, 1973, Inti-Illimani were on tour in Europe and were not allowed to return to Chile because their music was banned by Pinochet´s junta. I can´t imagine going on a trip and then being told that you´re never allowed to come home. Wow. So when they were in Europe, on "their longest tour in history" their music took on a new character and incorporated elements of European baroque which they mixed with their lively Andean and Latin American sounds. They were finally allowed to come back to Chile in 1988 and continued playing their music and touring Chile...And I love them. And I think their history, and the lyrics in their songs, are fascinating.

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website: http://www.intiillimani.org

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website: http://www.intiillimani.org

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website: http://www.intiillimani.org

Love this photo. Represents good times on the road.
Taken from "Inti Illimani Historico": http://www.intiillimani.org

Foto of the original" Inti-Illimani" group before they split.
Taken fromthe" Inti Illiami Historico" website: http://www.intiillimani.org


Photo of the new "Inti-Illimani" taken from their Website: www.intiillimani.cl.

A mix of the original and newer members.

Friday´s concert was incredible, as usual. I had goosebumps all night...which could have been from the freaking cold since it was -3C in that area at the time, but I didn´t care, I couldn´t tear myself away. Here are links to some of my favorite songs of theirs (in no particular order) to give you an idea of how amazing they are: This is a very powerful leftist song

-Buonanotte
-Samba Lando
-Exiliada de Sur
-Candidos
-La Fiesta Eres Tu
-El Pueblo Unido (this is a very powerful leftist song)
-La Negrita
-Antes de Amar de Nuevo
-Sobre tu Playa
-Danza Mediterenea
-Danza di Cala Luna

-San Juanito

There are so many more but I don´t know or remember the names of so many of their songs so if you like them, you´ll just have to go look up their music yourself. Anybody planning on visiting Chile simply MUST see this group whose music is so haunting and beautiful and so engrained in Chilean culture. I already have tickets to their next concert in October where they will play with "Illapu" (another traditional Chilean group I love). I´m obsessed with folkloric music from any country, I don´t know why, it just touches my soul since this type of music usually has deep roots to the countries history and all their suffering and joy.

Alright, now I´m off to enjoy my Sunday being lazy with my husband at home. But first, to cook a delicious stir fry and carrot ginger butternut squash soup for lunch. I usually cook as much as I can on Sunday so that we have food for the week since I have no time to cook during the week. Happy Sunday everyone!