How I ended up living next to a Karaoke bar called Donde Mismo

Last night a little bird reminded me that I haven’t written on this in about three weeks.  I was kind of shocked but also very honored that anyone cares enough about what I have to say, that they would notice a lack of blogging.  Also a good deal of excitement and frustration have occurred in the past three weeks.  Entonces, Jan here’s a shoutout.  These next ones are for you!


The house hunt


I’ll try to do things chronologically and thus little by little cover the vast expanse of time that is the past three weeks.  It all started with a house hunt.  I returned to Santiago on Friday, November 7 quite resfriada (sick basically, I had a hacking cough after losing my voice on election night), exhausted from the experience that is Buenos Aires, and more exhausted because the cough was keeping me up at night.  Naturally I was incredibly excited to embark on a citywide search for a new place to live during my ISP (independent study project, aka the thing that’s taking over my life right now). 


I spent Saturday, Sunday, and Monday souring Santiago with my friend Jordan.  We visited hostels as well as two apartments that a man named Fernando at this real estate agency called Home Chile connected us with.  Fernando talks about three kilometers a minute (that’s more than a mile) and has been sighted talking on as many as three phones at once.  He ends every conversation with “ciao ciao.  Ciao ciao.  Ja, un besito.  Ya ya”  butsaysthatreallyreallyfast.  He himself was an experience. 


Anyway on Monday night, exhausted and fed up with the search but knowing I really needed to move Tuesday so I could start my project, I found myself on the phone with a man named Gonzalo.  He claimed to be Chilean but sounded American.  He owned two hostels and had just bought a house next to one of them.  With plans to expand the hostel, he was temporarily using the house to rent rooms for longer periods of time, and it was already being inhabited by two girls from the US who were teaching English.  It was cheaper than anything I’d seen, and even though the girls were American and I’d wanted Chileans, something in his onda (his like, aura, energy, vibes—onda doesn’t translate well) just felt right.  So I took it. 


Moved in the next day (I still haven’t given him any money…).  The house has way more rooms than people inhabiting it and each room has three or four beds because, it’s going to be a hostel.  Gonzalo is incredibly nice if somewhat strange.  He always brings us whatever we need.  He also lives across the street.  My house mates are a hysterical set of best friends from Indiana (one of whom, incidentally, knows someone named Rob Thomas from Indiana but it’s not the Rob Thomas I know from Indiana nor is it the singer.  That was mostly for you Jan).  They just graduated college and are traveling together.  Each day we return from our separate adventures to regale each other with stories about how strange Chile is.  I’d almost forgotten.  Plus, I get to tell them all the stories I’ve already written here and told to all my SIT friends.  It’s great, and they humor me by laughing.

To add to the ridiculousness that is my house, one of them is now dating Gonzalo.  I will leave it at that for now.  At this moment all three of them are in Valpo and I have the house to myself.  If you’ll excuse me, I think guy delivering the keg just rang the doorbell.


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