Welcome to Chile!

Santiago Travel Blog

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On Wednesday morning, my parents flew into Santiago. I met up with them at their hotel and soon thereafter we left to find somewhere to eat lunch. My dad picks this salad restaurant nearby. My dad decides to go back to the hotel(just across the street) to take a nap, and leave my mom and I to chat. At some point between my dad leaving and while my mom and I were chatting, someone swiped my purse. After the fact, I can point out exactly who it was--two nicely dressed ladies. At any rate, my purse just happened to have everything of value to me in it as I had gone to extend my tourist visa the day before. I keep all of my don't-carry-around-with-you stuff in a little bag that I had put in my purse to go to their department of foreign affairs and hadn't taken it out yet. Contents of the purse: camera, ipod, phone, credit card, debit cart, $200USD, student indentity card, license, PASSPORT, and random other stuff. Within an hour, they had spent $1300 on my credit card--shouldn't have to pay this. We blocked both cards as soon as possible, and then I went to the police office to file a report. As it is Chile, you file the report one day, but can't receive it til the next.

Thursday, I got up and went to the police office to pick up the report, then got a new student metro card, then to my university. They had sent me an email on Wednesday night saying that someone had turned in some of my cards. Returned to me: Credit and debit cards, license, student ID. As the credit and debit cards had already been blocked, they are no good to me anymore now. This part is particularly annoying(though completely understandable). They cannot let me get my debit card unblocked, nor can they send me a new one until they see my face in the branch office--reminder: I'm in Chile for three more months. I'm not sure how all of this will be handled, but luckily my parents are with me to help out.

On Friday morning we got to the US Embassy as early as possible to apply for a new passport. As it turns out, they might not be able to get me my passport for another 1-2 weeks. Bad part is that my tourist visa expires in one and a half. I had planned to go to Argentina and come back. I will be calling them on Wednesday to see if it is ready. There is a national holiday on Thursday so the embassy is closed, and they take Friday off as well, so if I don't get it on Wednesday, I might get deported. Look for me in a prison near you!

Anyway, that's a quick recap of my past week, not to mention and essay, project, and test coming soon. I am, considering the circumstances, not too stressed or worried. We'll see. On a brighter note, I have enjoyed having my parents here(I'm not sure how much they're enjoying being here though :)). We went to Isla Negra, a beach town that hosts one of Pablo Neruda's(Noble Prize winning poet) three houses. It was my favorite of the three. He was quite an eccentric guy, and his houses definitely reflect that. This one had one half built to resemble a boat and the other half to resemble a train. After Isla Negra, we stopped in Pomaire, a small town known for its pottery, and we had a typical Chilean meal. Today I took my parents to church with me--not that they understood any of the spanish service, but oh well. And tonight I am having some friends over for dinner to meet my parents. I'll update you guys on my illegal immigrant status, and it I don't, come to Chile and bail me out of prison please :)
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photo by: Bluetraveler