Monday, June 30, 2008

Estoy Cansado

Well, another day has passed here. I can´t believe that I have almost been here for a week. Today wasn´t too bad, I had to do a little school stuff for the visa process, but that abouts it. Everything has to be notarized here, the notoria is like the DMV in the states, a huge line of people, where you take a number. Its not like the states, where you get a little stamp at the bank and thats it. Tomorrow is my first real day of training, I have a workshop at 10AM, I think that is it for the day. The other teacher I was hanging out with at the hostel, moved out today and he is moving into a apartment. That sucks because I am the only person staying at the hostel now (besides the caretakers). I will probably start looking for a place to live, later in the week. It will be nice to have a real place to live. Not knowing Spanish is really starting to become frustrating, I know it will come with time, but I am not a man who likes to wait! I know my Spanish has gotten better since I arrived here, but it still sucks! I am just waiting for the Spanish classes to start in a week or so. In the meantime, I have been just doing my workbooks, having simple conversations with the caretakers and memorizing verbs, etc. Actually, its about all I can do here, besides playing Solitare, reading or listening to music (I haven´t seen a TV since I have been here). I know its all part of the culture shock thing, but you come home at 6 and have nothing to do for the evening, well you know what kinda night its going to be. Still, I know I made the right move......

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another sign that America is closer than I think

So while hanging around the hostel today, I realized that the housekeeper is a huge 80´s metal fan. She was listening to bands like Ratt, Whitesnake and Danzig. We also had a broken conversation about how we both liked AC/DC (she had 3 albums). Thats pretty impressive she doesn´t speak any English. I wonder how she got into those bands?

Its still cold!

Ok its my first weekend here and lets just say that my weekend plans are few and far between. I have been hanging out with other English teachers which is awesome and playing guitar (one of the teachers has one). So last night we just got a bunch of beer and listened to music. Probably go to a party tonight that one of the teachers is having. Last night was so cold that I actually slept in my sleeping bag underneath my covers. Man am I glad that I brought it! Major things that I have noticed here...

1. People eat a ton of Mayo on everthing.
2. No central heat (as mentioned before).
3. People eat most things with a fork and spoon (including hamburgers).
4. When saying hello and goodbye to females, you always give them a kiss on the cheek (I haven´t gotten this much action in a long time, haha)
5. There are many stores called cafes which are strip clubs (I haven´t seen a starbucks version yet)
6. Simple theft is very common, when eating at a cafe, always hold your bag and don´t let it out of sight!

Well, I am going to go outside because its warmer out there....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

First Day


I finally got here! After a long day of travels, I made it to my hostel in Santiago. My first flight to Toronto got canceled, so I had to scramble to find another flight to make the connector. Flight from Toronto to Santiago was ok. It was long. There was this screaming kid, the whole damn time. I wanted to get up and punch the kid in the face, and of course the mother was just standing there doing nothing.

Alex was right about how cold the apartment would be. My hands are cold as I am writing this blog! There is no central air in the hostel, most rooms just have a gas space heater. I guess its something that I will have to get used to. The hostel is fine, very basic but its what I expected. Only myself and another teacher are currently staying here. I am staying downtown (sort of), and my room has a nice view of a park with a castle at the top of the park. So thats what I did today, is hike around the park and explore. The view at the top is amazing, but its hard to see the huge mountains with all the smog and pollution in the air. You can really notice a difference in the air quality.

Only Spanish is spoken here, which is exciting (because I have to learn quick), but it will be difficult at times esp these next couple of weeks (going to the store, internet cafe, etc). Luckily, I have the basics down to sort of get my way around.

Training starts on Monday and tomorrow I am meeting with my program director to work on the visa stuff.

Hasta Luego!