Chile: Santiago

So, here we are – on the other side of the equator.
The flight here was delightful.  LAN airline provided us with plenty of leg
room, comfy seats, and a choice of 24 some movies to watch on your
personal screen.  Besides, the fact that there is only one hour time
difference makes it easier on your body.  We zoomed through customs
being just about the only people in the immigration line, surprised at
that, but now we know why.
The city is completely devoid of charm and totally BORING.  From my
reading on Chile, I didn’t expect much but Santiago exceeded my bad
expectations.  It is a bunch of helter skelter buildings haphazardly
thrown together with no thought.  Ugly structures, dull colors, no
good people watching, the absence of colorful characters, and the main
attractions, the Andes, are hidden behind a wall of smog. The main
park has pitiful vegetation, downtown is reminiscent of San Jose,
Costa Rica, the main square, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Pablo Neruda’s house is sort of interesting, the area where it is located
is supposed to be Bohemian with good restaurants and shopping, but turned out to be one
step up from downtown Allentown.  We are going to Valparaiso tomorrow,
ahead of the schedule.  Hopefully, the nature we are about to see in this country will
wipe off the memory of this city.
On a happy note, the hotel we are staying in is nice and has free internet
Oh, we saw Obama on the cover of local newspaper side by side with
Karl Marx.  The local press made the connection between Obama’s
“redistribution of wealth” and one of the Marxist tenets of
“redistribution of wealth by taking away from the rich and giving it
to the poor.  My recurrent nightmare of sharing my house with 10 other
families as a communal apartment might yet come true.

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