Ugh, Chile does give kind of a strange vibe straight away. Any country where a Big Mac is around 3000 of the local currency, you know there is something wrong with.
Everything seems a little s***tier, a little more run down, a little less safe than Argentina. I definitely won't be staying here long. Tomorrow I take of back to BA again, and I was hoping to get a full cama on the bus, since it is 20 hours, and only 50 peso more. Of course they are all sold out, so semi-cama it is once again.
However, today is heading up to be a culture and history day. Going on yet another "free" tour around town, seeing as they are usually the very best and personal ones. This one... Not so much. The guide was very uninspired and wobbly at English at best. He showed me and two guys from NY around and said which building was which and what happened there, but hardly anything more. So felt like I chose the wrong group there... Well, well. Win some, lose some. After that I went for a visit to the "museum of memory", a museum dedicated to the memory of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. I know I had a big, black hole in my cerebral substance regarding the contemporary history of Latin America, so I try to visit museums and stuff while here, to catch up a bit on that section. So by now I know everything about Pinochet! Or well, I know how to spell his name and that he had a squeaky, kind of annoying voice, which is basically all you ever need to know about anyone.
The picture is btw La Moneda, the house of the executive power in Chile, and the place where Salvador Allende was bombed to smithereens whilst fighting off scores of vampire-zombie-ninjas with laser shooting out of their eyes using only an AK-47 he got from Castro that had been imbued with the power of the Old Gods, those who created the Andes, the heads on Easter Island and that caramel-sauce Argentinians use even more frivolous and liberal than Americans use bacon.
Sort of at least... The vampire-zombie-ninjas MIGHT not have had laser-eyes, accounts differ on that point. Eventually there was a three foot munchkin in a party of nine who outwitted the troops of the vicious ruler in the east and entered through the service back-entrance, fighting of the spider that dwelled where the cleaning lady daren't go. He brought forth a mighty ring and cast it back into the fiery abyss from whence it came... No wait, wrong story. But an AK-47 would fit neatly in there, somewhere I'm sure.
Anyways, Allende DID put up a kinda bad-ass fight when Pinochet pulled of a coup d'état on 9/11 anno 1973. He DID shot from the windows with an AK-47 from Castro and they DID bomb the s*** out of La Moneda, but Allende took his own life, giving the AK a blowjob before the army got to him. But enough about history, Chile has got so much else to offer! For example: Cafe con Piernas. Most people probably know cafe con leche (coffee with milk) but "con Piernas" (coffee with legs) is more of a local thing.
Now, depending on whether or not you have a dirty mind, you might see where this is going... I did almost guess it when the guide started telling us. For normal people, coffee with legs would most likely be akin to coffee to-go, or in a hurry or something.
For chileans it is a cross-breed between a barista and a strip club. When we where told that the ladies where lightly dressed I assumed maybe short skirts and stockings. Yeah...no. That is what they call Haitian Coffee, which is a mix between cafe con Piernas and Starbucks. THERE the girls are "lightly" dressed. At Cafe con Piernas they are pretty much straight out strippers, only instead of late nights and bad drinks, these kinds of places are apparently frequented by suit-wearing corporate employees on their lunch break or just anyone who feels in the mood to have a cup or two (lots, and lots of pun intended).
And all this is considered fully normal and not at all creepy...well, well. To each his own.
So tomorrow I'm heading back to BA, and the only thing I wish I would've done in chile a bit is try some wines. I suck at wines, don't really like it at all, so it'd be a waste to go on a tour, but they apparently got lots of great wines here and in Mendoza. Have to learn a bit more about "el vino".
It's good that I spent a decent section of the text describing strip-coffee shops, otherwise I'd be in the danger zone of becoming... A snob!
Oh, btw: I accidentally stumbled into some major street comedian who asked that I help him as a volunteer, which was interesting since I barely understood a word he said and had roughly 200 people watching me. Good stuff :)