PHEW, we landed safely! (Last Tuesday...we know, we'll get better at posting regularly, promise.) And apologies to anyone who took the under on us actually doing this, at a very respectable +250 odds, I can't actually blame you. Anyone who parlayed "10 years of middle school + high school + college Spanish classes won't add up to shit", well congrats, your ship has just come in amiger....amigon, amigo.
In the past week, we took a plane from beautiful Orlando, home of Harry Potter world, my beautiful family (and winners of Harmony's infamously tough trivia night), and reluctant alligators, all the way to Santiago, Chile. Not a bad flight all told, but a disturbing amount of pressure was put on us to watch Big Bang Theory on the airplane—NOT the first time this has happened to me (see: the time on a plane when a marine forced me to watch an episode and then called me "gay" for not enjoying it). I digress...it's a really easy flight down here, you should do it and watch whatever you feel like watching!
We took an uber-like taxi to our B&B, which is exactly like renting a room from an artist in his house and pretty darn comfortable for USD $15/night. We love it here, and would recommend Bellavista Home to anyone visiting Santiago. There's even a place called "Montana Steakhouse" five minutes walking, so us Americans that value Montana will feel right at home. The house is great, the neighborhood is great, the subway is great...Santiago is a really soft landing actually. The one thing we could never have counted on though was that, like, everyone here speaks Spanish and they throw that in our face constantly.
Right away (second day) we visited the VW Kombi that we thought, hoped. and prayed would be our newest family member/home for the next few years. We'd been communicating with a German/Romanian couple who were trying to sell it down here, and all signs looked positive. What can I say that hasn't been said before a thousand times, "don't buy a classic Volkswagen bus from a Romanian couple in South America yadda yadda yadda..." You know the rest. The bus lacked hutzpah, but made up for it in rust—which is good for oxidation fans but bad for aforementioned buyers of said bus. The deposit we put down was chalked up to sunk cost (#thanksobama), and so the search continues. It is also important to note that the entire (retrospectively funny) meeting with Señor Juan, the mechanic, was conducted with lots of gesticulating and signing, and usage of Google Translate which definitely works sort of sometimes for a couple things.
Post too long...continue on to the next to find out whether Chile has good local cuisine, sewage systems that can handle toilet paper, or stray dog policies (hint: none of those things, but it's a great city!).
Oh, and Chi-chi-chi-lay-lay-lay is the Chilean National Team chant. You're welcome.