First Day Here

Santiago Travel Blog

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And so it begins.

Today I got to Chile, after much anticipation.  It still feels totally weird, and probably won't get normal until after I start classes and get adjusted to the schedule.  Not that any of this is bad; I mean, thus far it's been a good time.  But it really feels like I'm on vacation (which probably has a lot to do with the fact that we're staying in a hotel right now), not like I'm about to start a semester of classes.  It sort of sucks that my summer got cut short, but it's not like I didn't know beforehand.  And by the end of this, I'm sure I'll be happy that I had the extra time here.   It also blows that I really miss everyone from home, and am slowly realizing the  magnitude of being gone for 5 months.  But I guess technology can (help) fix that.  I'll be Skyping like a freaking bandit.  :)

So Santiago is basically incredible.  It's pretty metropolitan, but not in a way that's overwhelming at all.  There's a really cool mixture of architecture, with some really old, gorgeous buildings juxtaposed with random 70's style ones and really modernist, streamlined ones.  Plus they're all set against the backdrop of the Andes.  I know everyone talks about them, but it really is something you have to see to get the full effect of.  Our hotel happens to have a tiny balcony with an incredible view of the city and the mountains in the distance.  I'm excited to get to know the city and stop looking like such a damn tourist so I can really enjoy it.  We all sort of stick out right now, mostly because we tend to move in large, English-speaking packs.  Even when I attempt to speak Spanish, it starts out ok, but then I always have to ask whoever I'm talking to to repeat themselves 90 times.  Chilean Spanish is freaking weird, between the accent, dropped consonants and the fact that everyone speaks so fast.  But listening to the CIEE staff speak Spanish at orientation today helped a lot, and I'll catch on eventually (I'm thinking sometime in late November). 

I'm out for tonight because we're heading to dinner soon.  After that we might go out for a little, if we're not too tired after the long-ass flight and all day today.  I'm going to make a conscious effort to keep up this blog, if only for my own posterity.  More to come later.  Peace. 
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photo by: Bluetraveler