I have been in Santiago for the whole THREE days ;)
It's incredible to see how slow time goes when you don't have a lot of things to do. In the American culture busy often equals successful and I sometime epitomize that idea with everything I do. For the past three days I had so much free time! As I was reflecting on it, I realized that having free time is an uncomfortable feeling for me.
On my first day [a Friday] here I was as productive as I could be [see, told ya]. I barely flew in and I started thinking what I had to do. So I went shopping, got a wifi plan, roamed around the neighborhood, had lunch, went to the bank, worked on my dissertation proposal... Turns out I still had time left over! So I went to yoga! Yogis and yoginis, get ready, yoga here is really cheap of of high quality: about $3 per class. Yep.
Second day -a Saturday-oh my god, MORE FREE TIME! As an early riser, I was up at 6AM[ and that's late for me :]. Of course, went to yoga first. Then made my way to see a potential apartment in Providencia, met the landlady, loved it. Walked to Providencia from Barrio Dieciocho - took about 50 minutes. Great! That took some time! Had lunch, 40 minutes (!). Walked back, another hour. Good! Still time left over! Worked on my proposal for 2 hours. Anyway, you get the idea.
Third day. A Sunday. On Sundays, Santiago is quite deserted. Especially for a person who woke up before 6AM [me]. Yoga is closed. Banks are closed, everything is closed! Work-life balance in action. For an American, such slow way of life could be intolerable. So, today I was out by 8AM and making my way into the center of Santiago. My plan was to see CicloRecreoVía. CicloRecreoVia is "a network of streets throughout Santiago that are closed every Sunday morning to motorized traffic and open to the public". Can you imagine the city government closing the streets in New York so residents can cycle, walk, and jog? Ha!
I then wanted to go to a Museo de Bellas Artes. Turns out, it doesn't open until 10AM. [inhale, exhale]. Sat in the neighboring park for a while watched Santiago residents and tourists wake up and crawl out of their apartments. The roamed around the artsy neighborhood and snapped some pictures of a - very creative - graffiti.
Done with the museum [by the way, free on Sundays]. Stopped by the museum store. Children's books everywhere! Score! Bought quite a few [thank you to the Department of State and Bernards Board of Education for the funds]. I think kids will LOVE them :]
It's only 11:30!! Googling "surviving Sundays in Santiago"... Yessss. An article! Yoga in Parque Forestal at 12PM and I am 5 minutes away! Except. No yoga mat. [inhale, exhale]. Googling "where can I buy a yoga mat in Santiago?"
Making my way to Lastarria neighborhood-think Greenwich Village in NYC mixed with New Hope in PA. Lovely, lively, and artsy! Cafes, bakeries, arts shops, and street vendors. Go into Cafe Berlin and sit down with a cappuccino. OMG. It's barely 1 o'clock.
Heat gets to me. Slowly make my way back to the apartment. On my way, I stop by a department store and splurge on a yoga mat.