This past week the weather in Chile has taken a turn from quite cool to bright and warm. It takes more time to walk from my apartment to class since all I want is to soak up the sun. However, ask me in three months, and I'll be wishing for colder days when my pit stains weren't so visible and forgetting deodorant was forgivable. Also, along with the change in temperature, there was a tangible feeling of excitement around Santiago for the upcoming national holiday, Fiestas Patrias. Basically, if the Fourth of July and Christmas had a love child, this would be Dieciocho. It's a long weekend filled with barbecues, drinking, and music. This weekend was a non-stop party from Friday night through Monday. I called it quits after Sunday night, but there was still a disctinct smell of near by asados. What a great sidestep from the grind of teaching!
Friday, after a quick meet up with some of the characters from my institute, I headed over to a friend's house for fonda/bbq/terremoto/cueca madness. After a delightful time, we gringos called it a night and headed back to our appropriate apartments to get ready for the next day of celebrations. Saturday, a group of coworkers and I loaded into bus and headed out side of Santiago to the small town of Curacavi for more asado action as well as some relay races. After a full day of running around, eating, and drinking, I slept like a baby that night. Finally, I started Sunday with a barbecue and ended the day with the Chico Trujillo fonda which would have probably been a little more fun if I didn't whimp out in the end and take a (very expensive) cab back home. DEMASIADO CARRETE PARA LA GRINGA!
Essencial Fiestas Patrias vocabulary:
fonda- maybe similar to a festival or bazar. There's one in every neighborhood in Santiago and they have typical Chilean food, drink, music, and dancing.
anticucho- kebabs. Don't let people tell you different. It's meat and veggies on a skewer.
cueca- traditional Chilean dance. By the way- I'm fairly certain I offended people with my version of the cueca.
chicha- super sweet, super dangerous pre-fermentation wine. Or at least, that's what I gather.
terremotos- this means earthquake, but it refers to another very dangerous drink. Sweet white wine, pineapple ice cream and some sort of liquor (pisco or fernet).
That's all I can think of at the moment. Perhaps, someone with a little more experience can help me out.
Needless to say, the next weekend was spent in the sun or in my apartment sleeping.