Free day

Santiago Travel Blog

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Today after I woke up, we decided to hit up downtown Santiago.  We found our way over to the subway station, and someone who spoke more Spanish than me found out which way we needed to go.  We went to the area we were in the day before and found a restaurant to get lunch at.  I'm starting to get used to the whole idea of a meal being a social gathering, where people will sit for an hour after their meal is over, drinking and talking about their day. 

Next, we wanted to go back to the downtown area we visited the day before.  We arrived about 2 blocks from the presidential palace and main square, so we walked around the shops there.  We got there and found a crowd gathered around a show that was just finishing up with a few musicians.  Next came a group of improv comedy guys who gave a good show (from what I could understand!) that lasted for a few hours.  We decided we'd rather sit somewhere and people watch in the square. 

As soon as we sat down, a girl saw the deck of cards someone had recently purchased and started to talk.  It eventually turned into her teaching us a new game before she had to leave.  After a while we decided it was getting late and we should get back to the hotel.  The subway was packed, and Patrick and I got left at the station.  

I have found Santiago to be interesting for a couple reasons.  The first night we were here, we went to get dinner and were swarmed by waiters from 4 different restaurants battling for our business.  One offered free drinks, which of course got the attention of a bunch of college kids.  There's a sort of aggressiveness around, be it in restaurants or fighting to get on the subway.  Also, I have noticed that in the better parts of the city, it's very modernized.  I'm even writing this blog from a Starbuck's cafe.  There's quite a bit of influence from the US, as there's KFC and subway around the corner, and I have seen quite a bit of English writing in the parts of the city we've been to.  Santiago definitely seems to have embraced the American way, though they still retain the South American style of a social meal. 
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photo by: Bluetraveler