Santiago – Finally abroad

Pookaverse says a big Hello from a very warm and balmy Santiago, Chile. We are now officially in a foreign country. Whatever that means. But Pookaverse thinks it may have more to do with language than culture. Or convenience. When everything you need to get your day done is from an unreachable place. All uber-clacking. Rattled off.

Spanish school starts from 30/12/2012. Pookaverse hooms are considering asking Andy Thompson to become the Pookaverse organic interface to a vast spanish-speaking world. Air Fare, room and only moderate fondling. No pressure.

As we are in sharp contrast to the uber-mall outside of Elizabeth, NJ where Pookaverse killed some time before flight. On the day after landing here. On a journey that took nearly 11 hours. The plane delayed on the tarmac on 02 December at 11:45 for an hour – while a fault in a fuel pump was traced. Finally leaving with Air Canada from Toronto Pearson International Airport and travelling 09:45 hours to Santiago de Chile Airport.

When old, reflecting...Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago from Plaza de Armas, Satiago

When old, reflecting…Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago from Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile

Air Canada seems to know how to fly. Fairly comfortable Economy seats with none behind us. Entertainment? Rohan watched The Muppets (2012) and Abraham Lincoln Vampire-Hunter which is in jarring contrast to Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln.  And not half as bad as you might think.

With a clever script that weaves the timeline of Lincoln’s life – including the Battle of Gettysburg – with his lesser known career as an axe-swinging savior of African-Americans smiting hordes of Confederate blood-suckers who prey on their slaves to avoid attracting unwanted attention.

Alison settled on Despicable Me. Rohan joined her later to watch a reasonable take on the Bond-esque super-villain story with some touching moments set on a canvas that could have been lifted from Pixar. But not quite having the wit – choosing to play to its stereotypes. Pleasingly. Oh btw.

Don’t touch the remake of Total Recall (2012). Rohan bore 35 minutes of that piece of shit and there is no way to get that time back. Even if dozing fitfully 12 miles above the surface of the earth counts as an activity. Roger Ebert review mode terminates here…

Arriving at 13:10 local time. Parting wave after wave of taxi cab drivers to be met by “John” and his pre-booked taxi service. Who spoke not very much English. But he could drive. Through the meddlesome lunchtime traffic. From palm-lined dual carriageways to tiny side-streets with charismatic shop and bar fronts  to our current hotel located in the Belle Arts neighbourhood.

Pookaverse has seen some very tall mountains on this trip...but nothing like the Andes.

Pookaverse has seen some very tall mountains on this trip…but nothing like the Andes.

Pookaverse is three hours ahead in this part of the world. This entry being drafted at 18:00 in the evening with the world clock reading 21:00 where you are. According to the display in the subterranean tourist information centre on Plaza des Armas.

Last night after 4 hours sleep, Pookaverse staggered out of the hotel only to be defeated by an ATM in the nearby Supermarket with no English translation.  Game over. The hotel changed up some dollars as well as offering a free drink at the El Toro restaurant across the road.

We tried our first Pisco Sour which at the best approximation resembles a Margarita. Plus. A Margarita Plus. Assembled by Atomic Fission. The first serving in a dainty champagne flute.

Outside the Central Market with the temperature pushing 34 degrees...and a roof fabricated by Messrs Laidlaw & Sons of Glasgow and reassembled here circa 1872

Outside the Central Market with the temperature pushing 34 degrees…and a roof fabricated by Messrs Laidlaw & Sons of Glasgow and reassembled here circa 1872



We decided against the food. Instead walking a few yards to a restaurant named “Garlic” served in neon green. And our second Pisco Sour which was less gentrified. Neither Pookaverse hooms can tell if it is the absence of alcohol as this virus draws to a reluctant close.

Douglas Adams understood alcohol. When he described his literary invention of the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster “is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped ’round a large gold brick.” He knew how to wince to worthy opponent.

Both Pookaverse hooms were perished by the second glass of the night. Only to slurp back into the hotel and fall unconscious. To sleep more soundly – apart from the now familiar 2 o’clock hack that Rohan and Alison do in alternating shifts – than it should be decently possible. Without air conditioning.

Travel Info 05/12/2012:  Santiago, Chile. The 4-hr Spicey Chile walking tour of Santiago starting at 10am. And probably more Pisco Sours. Much.

Travel Info 06/12/2012:  Back to the airport and a 5-hr plane ride – one stop at Puerto Montt – to Punta Arenas. Adding to the 5395 miles from Toronto to Santiago. As always we’ll let you know what happens.


5 Responses to “Santiago – Finally abroad”

  1. Rach Says:

    WOW!!! It looks wonderful 🙂 How lovely for you both after the East Coast post-Hurricane and its notorious chiily Winters.
    Onwards and Upwards to Costa Rica ARRRRRRRRIBA!
    Loads of Love

    ps Al – replying to your mail now – quite a hectic week and weekend so sorry for my tardiness! X

  2. Thompson Says:

    Thanks for reminding me about pisco sour! 🙂

  3. jose Says:

    What a journey, but well worth it for 34 degrees and views of the Andes. if you’re flying over them to Punta Arenas take a knife and
    fork with you, just in case One parcel from Philadelphia arrived this
    morning, keep safe x

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