Good Friday was, as I was warned, very slow. The two grocers closest to me were closed. As were the cafes I’ve frequented. Traffic outside the apartment was extremely quiet. I worked until about 3 and then went out for a walk. I was out until 5, having covered significant ground, little of which was memorable in the nice, peaceful way that residential areas in which you don’t live all look alike.
My main target was locating a restaurant I was taken to during a conference last May. I remember it being a Uruguayan place just south of my hotel. I remember it being yellow.
I found my hotel easily enough. Sadly, the street south of the hotel has three restaurants: one yellow but not Uruguayan, one explicitly Uruguayan but not yellow and not familiar, and one whose name, structure and entire being struck me as being right. All closed. I’m pretty sure the latter is right but I’ll have to go back to be sure.
Up on Providencia and Nueva Providencia, quite a few places were open. A report from students informs that Costanera Center was open as usual. Some students were going out in Bellavista and that it seemed to be open as usual. But back in the residential area I live in, most places were closed. The one restaurant I saw open was mobbed.
I walked behind an older couple for a bit. My language skills are improving as I was able to eavesdrop on them a little. (Look, eavesdropping is wrong and I will stop doing it when I hear Spanish well enough for it to be rude.) This gentleman was telling his wife something. There were mentions of shopping and supplies they needed and then I heard one sentence very clearly. He said, “Tenemos unos pocos aminos.” So, clearly, they have some small amines. His tone suggested he wanted their amines to be bigger.
So, I walked mostly empty streets. Empty except for a few families out to let their kids vent some energy – some things are, indeed, universal – and dogs.
I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned dogs here in South America and, especially, Chile. There are a lot of them and they mostly live free. I’ve yet to go anywhere in Santiago or Chile that doesn’t have a lot of dogs wandering free. This includes remote mountain hiking, dense urban areas, and airports. Today, I got a picture of a favorite of mine. He – and we know he’s a he because, apparently, Bob Barker hasn’t spent much time in country – hangs around a bus stop just southwest of the Manuel Montt metro station. What makes this blonde boy interesting is that he sleeps in the little square cutouts for trees.
The photo I got of him is in a cutout without a tree. But it looks comfy just the same.
Behind me, as I’m taking this picture, are several similar cutouts in the sidewalk that contain fairly large trees. You know: urban “beauty”. Many times I’ve walked through this stop and seen this dog out cold up against a tree as thousands of people mill around him. This kind of sight is very common in Santiago. The dogs are remarkably well behaved given their free nature. They pick up plenty in the way of scraps and there is abundant water about. When you first arrive, they’re a little unnerving but they are harmless and even friendly after awhile.
Speaking of water, I next came to the fountains on Providencia. These are spectacular at night but I didn’t feel like waiting. The park was full of families and couples and dogs. I saw two photoshoots ongoing that appeared to be for beverages. I don’t know if they were together or not but they had very similar looking young women playing with similar green bottles but they wree a few hundred meters apart. I’ll keep an eye out for them on posters.
Then, soon, I was back home and settled in to a little more writing followed by Netflix. A quiet day ended quietly.