It turns out that today (Monday) is actually a big national holiday in Chile, so I didn't have to work! From what I understand, Chile has a lot of holidays and they always turn them into long weekends. I'll have a 4-day weekend at the end of October.
Breakfast is included with my stay here, and they serve it on the top floor of the hotel. The restaurant has 360-degree views of the city and the mountains, so it's a great place to have cereal and coffee in the mornings.
Today I had lunch with a girl from work (she lives here but is from Texas) and a local Chilean who works for my company. Lunch is a VERY big deal in Chile. Lunch is always very late (by my standards) and the restaurants don't open until at least 12:30 or 1PM. It seems like they eat big meals for lunch, and the restaurants are very busy. The restaurants here remind me of Paris - lots of outdoor and patio seating. I've also noticed that restaurants are very expensive here. For example, my lunch was 13.000 Chilean Pesos or about $26 USD. Thank goodness for per diem.
After lunch, we went to the mall and then to Tottus which seemed similar to a super Walmart. I bought a few groceries for my room, and now I'm back at the hotel. Tomorrow is my first day of work in Chile!
More to come....I am really enjoying Santiago!