God, I cant believe I had only planned to stay in Santiago for 2 nights and Im still here a month later! Its like the Bermuda Triangle of South America - people get lost forever in the HI hostel! In fact, Im really just enjoying taking some time out from the hectic pace of bus journeys and taking tours. Its great to just unpack your backpack for a few weeks and relax.
Ive really enoyed the last week here actually . My American friends Matt and Sky also came back to HI and we had a little reunion the other night. The week started with a stupid jokeamong all of us about pirates (which I wont explain because it would take too long) but it just grew and grew and got more and more ridiculous, and it ended up with us all dressed as pirates on Saturday night. Ive never had so much fun in one night. There was a bbq on the same night for one of the staff members birthdays, and so there were a lot of CHileanos in the house. At the start of the njight, they were all huddled at one side of the terrace looking at us like we were crazy, but it wasnt too long before they just got into the stupiduty of it all and it turned into a great night. I salsa danced for so long, I just love it! We have some hilarious photos of us with big black eyes,bandanas, hooks, a parrot and lots of rum!
The last couple of days have been spent job-hunting, which is proving fruitless so far. I am leaving here in a couple of days to go South to Patagonia, and if I havent heard anything back from any of the schools at that point, I probably wont come back to Santiago but continue on to Argentina instead. At this stage though, I have my heart set on living here for a while and I will be disappointed if I cant find work. Im also considering an Irish bar but my lack of Spanish is a problem in applying for any kind of job other than English teaching.
On Sunday we spent the day wandering around Santiago´s flea and artisan markets and I bought a lot of stuff which I probably dont need, but it was really enjoyable. My favourite purchase was a fantastic black Russian military hat which i will have to send home. They have the weirdest stuff in these markets, including one stall with tonnes of old Nazi memorabilia which you can buy for a song.
Santiago is hurting my pocket significantly though and Patagonia isnt going to be any cheaper!