Chile Santiago

Angels with Dirty Faces

But what else can I say? That in the ugliest of places you can find gems that glitter like diamonds. They may not be but sometimes they are something far better.

I read this line in a reading from one of my English classes and I thought how apt it was for my blog. While I have had an overwhelming positive reaction to my posts, I have had a few people who have been negative and have been unable to grasp the point of my words. I have never insinuated that Santiago was perfect, or that all taxistas are honest and all bus drivers unintelligent but I certainly have tried to illuminate the diamonds in the rough and the “angels with dirty faces”.

What can I say? I get as pissed off as everyone else about tiptoeing around bad customer service or dealing with the machista attitude.  I hate that the best cheese goes to Spain and that there’s no real milk readily available (find out why here).  Above all, I hate that I want to support the strikes that occur regularly in Santiago but find that it’s nearly impossible to have any sympathy for them because life becomes utter chaos.

12191704_10153662995005097_1271567381719411643_nBut what else can I say? That in the ugliest of places you can find gems that glitter like diamonds. They may not be but sometimes they are something far better. I see that in the frazzled security guard at the Registro Civil who did his best to help us today. I see that in the young carabinero who moved me to the front of the Cedula queue today when he wasn’t obligated to. I see that in Luis who sometimes drives me nuts for never doing the dishes,  and in Emilio who has developed an affinity for sticking his finger up his nose whenever we have company. I see that in our dog Luna, who once lived on the street and is riddled with cancererous growths but who is sweeter than Babe and Lassie combined. I see that in my suegro who manages to disagree with everything I say but still manages to make Emilio happier than a ray of sunshine. I see it in Jose’s empanadas that are cooked in a dirty oven but taste delicious.

I also find in the most random of places, most evident in the following pictures I never expected to find where I did.  So I guess what I am trying to say is this: if you walk around with your eyes wide shut, you may never see the beauty right in front of your eyes.

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Where you can find delicious Arabic food in Patronato
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Where you can find wonders in la Vega Chica
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Where political statements are made through art
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Where you can eat like a king in the market (mote con huesillo anyone?)
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Where you can eat cheap, delicious Thai food in Franklin
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Where you can encounter festivals in Huechuraba
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Where you never know what you might find
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Worm farm down a Recoleta street? Tick.
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History down town? check
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Where you can eat delicious empanadas (thanks Jose!)
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Where cementeries are for family fun
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Best park in Santiago is in Recoleta!
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Where you can enjoy BBQ during the national holiday celebrations
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Where anyone can be your friend if you take the time
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Where the trees where clothes
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Breaking social boundaries and playing in unlikely places
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Remembering through graffitti
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Where you can find unlikely treasures
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Tirso Molina is one of those treasures
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And the artists too
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Where even the most dangerous of places have spectacular views.

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