Oh man, how on earth does this thing work?

Hey hey ladys and lads visiting my page! I don't mean to alarm you but I am a bit of a technical meatsack, hence my ugly colour choice and most likely confusing layout. I apologise but have no real intention of improving. Sorry.

If you were still under the impression that this page was an insight into the life and times of my travels in Chile, that I have to sadly dash your dreams of a hilarious tale of my incompetence- I'm back in NZ baby! However, seeing as I've had such a great response to my blog and since my theripist thinks it's a good way for me to share my thoughts (joke), I am going to continue this blog, most likely in a random fashion, with tales of day to day hilarious misunderstandings, annoyances, and general thoughts from out of the blue.

Enjoy, or don't, its your call.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The great Maccas hunt.

A few weeks earlier.......

Ainsley "I wonder what Macdonalds will taste like in Chile?"

Arthur (Ainsleys dad) "They might not have Macdonalds Ainsley".

Vera: (Ainsleys Nana) öf course they will Arthur, don't be ridiculous! (stares at Arthur in disbelief).

Well, it turns out that Macdonalds is more elusive over here than both Vera and I once believed. I tracked one down today, up in Chillán, a town close the the Andes. Yes, I went in there and in my broken Spanish accompanied with some pointing ordered a hamburger Happy Meal (just because im in a different country doesn't mean im going to shake up my usual order). Turns out that a hamburger is literally just a patty and bread, nothing else. But I was still stoked out of my mind.

On my great hunt for the Hamburger, I have also been getting up to various other things this week. Im happy to say that my spanish is improving, and I no longer feel like a major loser when I try to use it to communicate with people. The culture shock is on the pass, and I feel like its going to be up hill from here. But its not going to be hard work. I mean its going to be good. Sorry to confuse you with my foolish metephores. I have been getting to know the city, working up my confidence to do such things as go to the supermarket, take the bus and just generally live.

I have been abit sick, but am getting over it now with the help of my immune system and positive vibes (joke). Work with the kids is going great, getting into a bit of a routine as much as you can with babies, and Im loving working with Stephanie the older girl. Last night I went out and didn't get to sleep until about 2.30 this morning. Next thing I know I hear banging on my door and 'get up Ainsley, Ainsley get up, can you get up please?'. Turns out Stephs at my door and she wants to make plasticine animals. I told her that I was feeling a bit sick, and that we would do it later. She couldnt understand why I wouldn't find a 7am early morning sculpting sesh as fun as she thought.

Interesting note about Chile: Everybody, and I mean everybody, smoke like trains here. Like you go outside your house and boom! There is someone smoking. YOu walk down the street, bam! Someone with a smoke. At the bustop, kapow! Cigarette! I know what you are thinking, so what? That happens everywhere. Well, here you can also smoke inside. So when you walk into a restaraunte (bad spelling I know) like I did last night, you are assulted with smoke up your nostrils. ANd when you leave, you smell like someone has kindly taken your clothes while you weren't watching, hung them to air over a bonfire, and returned them, with you none the wiser. Yet another reason I am glad for NZ.

So in conclusion, its going well, if you pray, pray that I make some cool friends, there is a difference between having people to hang out with and actually hanging out with people. Apart from that you could also pray that I can resist the temptation of bread, cos its messing with my head (no rhyme intended).



Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pisco Damage Report

Hola hola hola everyone

So. It has been a few days since my last blog, and since then I have been busy checking out my neighbourhood are learning how to say where I live.

Over the last few days I have been bonding with the kiddies and family I am staying with, I am getting on with them really well which is an awesome blessing. All three children are gorgeous, and have very different personalities! Taking them out is a laugh, because Chileans seem to love kids, they all start chattering to me in spanish about how aborable they are, to which I reply, "no hablar espanol, no hablar espanol" and that basically shuts down the conversation.

Besides my daytime mother of three duties, I have been up to various other things as well. Last night I went to my first house party with some gap students from Belgium and NZ. I was also introduced to my first glass of ''pisco''. Pisco is a locally brewed Chilean speciality, no one can tell me what it is made of but they drink it as if it comes out of the kitchen tap. The closest relative drink I can compare it too is probably rum, similar tasting but is quite sweet and is very easy to drink. Which I did.

Everyone at the party were pretty nice to me, the chicks especially were really nice, saying that they will take me to the mall and go shopping or something (I was drifting in and out). The boys had a right old laugh at my poor spanish, they kept trying to make me say things and then laughed at "the funny gringo". Everyone was speaking spanish to me, which got really overwhelming at times and I had my first culture shocky feeling of not being able to joke and tease them, which is flippin frustrating! I am ashamed to say that due to my tiredness, inability to communicate and my pisco ridden self, I had a moment of weakness and a few tears started to make their long walk to freedom down my face. No sooner had I started my self pity session, then a bunch of eagar young chileans ran up crying "you miss your family?? you miss your family??" . Litte beknown to them that what I really miss is the English language spoken without a funny accent and with the set back of a hilarious misunderstanding every 3 and a half minutes, but at the risk of offending them I went ahead with the family reasoning. A kindly young lady by the name of Andrea even offered to take me to the bathroom and gave me some makeup, which I put on even though it was about 4 shades too dark. Still a gringo? Nah boi.

To remedy my feelings of depressed gringoness, Duncan (the other NZer) and I put on a bit of Black Seeds and tried to involve some of the locals in a dance sesh. I have to say that we failed rather spectaculary, not only did they think our dance moves were slack, they were unimpressed with our music.

The thing is, that although I had heard "Pisco = sick- Hola from Chile" I didn't get to fully appreciate that phrase until about 6 this morning, after crawling into bed only hours before. Needless to say, although the experience was some what of an interesting one, and everyone is really quite lovely minus the pisco effect (I hung out with a few this morning up at the football field) , I will not be reliving the experience any time soon.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Captain Casanova, Herbal Highs and Flying Nuns- Flying into Chile and other things.

Hola from Chile!

Firstly, Im using a spanish computer and everything is in the wrong place, so if I spell something retardly I hereright apologise.

So. The flight here was pretty sweet, some of you may know that I get (just a litte) uptight before I do any overseas travel. I especially hate airoplanes, so I was pretty much just loading up on Rescue Remedy herbal meds, hoping that they would calm me down enough for the flight. But just as we were about to take off, I started having an attack of the panics again, so to calm my nervs, I played a quick game of Terrorist or no Terrorist. Its basically similar to Deal or no Deal, you just have to choose who out of all the passengers is most likely a terrorist. I chose the Balinese guy adjacent to me wearing a face mask. Health conscience? More like killing us with diseases through the air vents.

Anyway thats about it for the flight (which had a pilot called Captain Casanova hahaha) until I got to Santiago. I was accosted by some customs folk who all spoke spanish at me, and I was all like "calm your farm, its just weetbix". A little spanish dude helped me with all my backs for "a smaaaall feeee". I then went and waited for my connecting flight to Concepcion. I saw a nun and was stoked, I've never seen one before! I was stunned out of my mind at all the smog in Santiago, seriously you can't see anything, its really polluted and it makes me sad because there is such a beautiful view surronding the place. Flying out of the city, I could see the Andes, and it was seriously one of the most beautiful views of my life. My eyeballs were basically falling out of my face.

So Im here now in Concepcion, this morning Kane took me on a bus over the river into the city and showed me around. There is heaps of damage from the earthquake, i have some photos of a few buildings that are basically about to fall over, that no one deals with because they are avoiding thhe costs of sorting it out. We went past the shack city as well, were all the poor live. There is no state housing, so apparently there is this rule that if you make a shack on some free land and live there long enough it is yours, hence shacks in random places i.e. traffic island. It really made me appreciate the beautiful place that NZ is, and how lucky we are to live there *emotional*.

Also dogs crap everywhere. Gross.

In other news, spirits are extreemly cheap here. Absolut Voddy, a cheeky $20. Malabu, hello $17. Also a shout out to Anna Oud, I have honest to goodness seen about 15 shoes stores so far. No joke. All next to each other. The shoe:clothes ratio is like 5:1. Classic.

Anyway thats it for now, Im being antisocial because my computer isnt working and I have to go to another end of the house.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hit me in the face with a fish, because I need a wakeup call!

Woahzas (i'll be keeping it fresh with my crazy spelling btw)! Tomorrow at approximately 4.40pm NZ time, I will leaving on a jet place to Ch-ch-chile! Im about as nervous as a year 11 before their first NCEA exam, and I'm looking forward to the moment when I can realise "hey, getting that Achieved wasn't really very hard at all, I don't know what I was so worried about".

Anyway nothing else really that interesting to post pre-visit to the land of the Chil, I will update when I have something more spectacular to say!

Peace out scout,