Lindsey Chapman's Travel Blog

Foreign Aeropuertos, Cafe Con Piernas, and Pick Pocketing
June 4, 2010, 5:45 pm
Filed under: Chile

I began getting really excited about my trip when I arrived at the airport in Panama City.  Latin music fills the halls of each concourse as it is being played in all the tiendas selling electronics. I love the feeling I get from the music because it reminds me of the discotechas I went to in Ecuador. As soon as I heard it I thought to myself, “yep, this is my place”.

When I got to the airport in Santiago I had to pay a reciprocity fee of $131 and they only accept it in US currency. Unfortunately I had just exchanged most of my cash at the airport in Houston for Chilean pesos. So I had to exchange the pesos back to USD for a hefty commission fee. My Spanish understanding was tested. I got my traveler’s visa and my passport stamped and I was off to look for the best way to get to the hostel. The easiest way to get to the hostel as a gringo with elementary Spanish was to use TransVIP.  For about $10 USD they take you in a van directly to your destination. It costs much less than a taxi and is much less of a hassle than the public transportation.

When I arrived at La Casa Roja, I went to sleep immediately wearing my jeans and all. I didn’t want to dig through my bags for clothes and a toothbrush and wake the other sleeping travelers in my dorm.  I met some cool people from the UK over breakfast who told me about a free tour going on later. Of course I was game because I had no idea what I was going to do that day. After breakfast my competitive nature arose and I challenged them to ping pong and lost; literally got killed.

The first place the tour stopped at was a regular coffee shop, known as a con pierna, where the coffee is served by women in thongs and is only open for business hours. They don’t serve alcohol, only coffee tea and juice. It was so bizarre how normal and accepted this was. It was quite funny to me and most others in the group, with the exception of a couple guys who were thrilled by the abundant cleavage and flawless culo.  We walked the streets of down town and stopped at the fish market that was filled with loads of fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, and meat.  I stopped and bought the juiciest mango my taste buds have ever experienced.  The last stop of the tour was at a bar called Piojera, which means head lice in English, interestingly enough. There they serve an authentic Chilean drink called the terremoto which means earthquake. It is a homemade wine served with ice cream and you are supposed to let the ice cream melt and mix in the drink. It was tasty. We took the extremely crowded subway on the way back to the hostel and we lost some people from the group. First lesson: when you hear the beep while trying to enter or exit the subway push really hard to make your way through.

The next day I walked back down to the fish market to get some fresh fruits and vegetables. The streets are very crowded during the day in the centro of the city and on my way back from the market I experienced my first almost pick pocketing. I was shoulder to shoulder surrounded by Chileans and I felt a small tug on my backpack. I turned around to find a short woman slyly trying to unzip my backpack. I gave her a nasty American stare and she bashfully pretended to shuffle through her friends bag. Luckily even if she was successful she would only be going home with a sweet and juicy apple.


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Did you catch if the coffee shop was hiring? 🙂 Thinking and praying for you…sounds like you’re off to a great adventure!! Love you!

Comment by Tasha

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Comment by will

AAHHHH so fun! I agree with Tasha…check if they are hiring!!!

Comment by LeRoyce Chapman

I can only imagine how nasty that evil stare of yours was 🙂

Love the pics so far! Keep them coming!

Comment by ann

Hi nice to hear from you…you are so brave to take this on…we miss safe

Comment by deb slayton

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