North American culture is obsessed with Halloween and they have infected South American with the holiday as well. It is not nearly as big a deal as it is in the States, but kids do dress up in costumes for candy. The funny thing is though, that Chile has two national paid holidays for it. Now to me that’s taking a holiday seriously.
On Friday my host mom and I headed early to Santiago to do some touristy things. I’m ashamed to say that I hadn’t taken the time to really get to know Santiago. But honestly who can blame me. Valpo has so much character. Anyway I walked around with my expert guide through the center of the city. She pointed out the buildings that her parents worked in, the two buildings adjacent to La Moneda (like our White House), and how she used to run back and forth through La Mondeda playing as a child. This particular day that we were there, a special event was going on and we could go in. In fact, the whole road and plaza was blocked to get to it. But did that stop us from going in? Of course not! I don’t know what it is about my host mom, but somehow signs, rules, laws, military personnel cannot stand in the way of that determined woman. So instead of being this far from La Moneda…
…we ended up having a nice conversation with this kind sir in the threshold.
Popped our heads into the gigantic cathedral in the center before heading to my host mom’s tapestry class. I love talking to old people. They are just hilarious because they don’t have to sensor anything they say. If they don’t like something, they let their opinion be know. No beating around the bush. But seriously, they were very welcoming and loved to give the cute little gringa the opportunity to practice her Spanish.
The rest of the holiday weekend + some I spent in Viña. Gonzalo’s family and two of his friends came with us and we camped out at the beach during the day and played cards til early in the morning. No spookness to my Halloween, and that is just perfectly fine with me. I’ll trade the sound of terrified screams and candy for the sounds of waves on a sunny beach with great company any day.