Friday, December 9, 2011

Goodbye Chile

All week I've been saying goodbye to people here in Chile. Having lived and worked here for nearly two and a half months, I've met a lot of amazing people and have some good friends here now. A part of me is really sad to leave, but I hope my work will bring me back some day (hopefully a shorter trip next time though!).

Yesterday, my friends and I went to a pool party and barbecue at our friends' house outside of the city. It was so awesme to be swimming and grilling hamburgers outside in December. It was a perfect last day in Chile.

Now I've checked out of my hotel, and my cab comes to pick me up at 7PM tonight to go to the airport. Hopefully I'll sleep well on the flight so I'll be ready to jump right back into my routine in Greenville when I get back. I can't wait to see everyone! Lots of fun times ahead with my graduation, Christmas, starting on a new project in Greenville, and lots more.

I will probably post on the blog at least one more time, but I will go ahead and thank you all for following my travels in Chile! What an adventure!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Day in the Life of Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, also known as Tony in the Taylor household, is one of our travel heroes. I think I’ve mentioned him on the blog before. If you don’t know who he is, you need to watch one of his shows and you will be hooked. His show is called No Reservations, and he travels the world seeing places, learning about different cultures, and eating crazy food. Before you judge him on his horrendous smoking and drinking habits, try to appreciate the fact that he is a French-trained chef and speaks fluent French. He is an amazingly creative writer, and you can get a taste of his talents in the narrations of his show which he writes himself. He has also authored a few books, but I haven’t gotten around to reading any of them yet (thanks to grad school).
Tony came to Chile a few years ago, and on Friday my friend Lindsay and I watched the No Reservations Chile episode. On Saturday, we walked Tony’s Santiago footsteps. It was three Americans, two Chileans, two Puerto Ricans, and a whole day of seeing the “real” Santiago.

Our day started at Fuente Alemana (German Fountain), a sandwich shop near downtown. It reminded me of an old-time soda shop. This was Tony’s first stop in Santiago, and the place is known for their lomitos, or pork sandwiches. We all ordered our sandwiches “completo” with all the fixings: avocado, mayo, diced tomatoes, and probably plenty more that I am not aware of.

Left to right: Lindsay, Ethel, Lina, me, Eric, Trinidad

Me with my lomito...I conquered almost half of this enormous sandwich

Our second stop of the day was a deviation from Tony’s agenda, and it was also the most disgusting “restaurant” I have ever been to. It was called La Piojera. It smelled terrible, was filled with smoke, and let’s just say the clientele was not too classy. We went for the purpose of trying a Terremoto (earthquake), which is a famous Chilean drink consisting of pineapple ice cream and sweet wine. You need to try one if you come to Chile, but you don’t necessarily need to finish it. I’d rather have a coke (or better yet, sweet tea). We bought a Polaroid picture of our group at the restaurant (if you can even call it a restaurant), and here is a picture of that picture:

The famous terremoto...the white on top is the ice cream

Next, we went to El Hoyo, or “the hole” in Spanish. The restaurant got its name because it is basically a hole-in-the-wall dining establishment. This was Tony’s favorite restaurant in Santiago, and in my Frommer’s Chile book it is listed as Anthony Bourdain’s favorite. It is no surprise that Tony liked the place so much since they serve intestines, sausage, cow hoof soup, and plenty of other delightful delicacies (gross). Our group stuck with French fries, but at least now we can say we went to Tony’s favorite Santiago restaurant, right?Our group in front of the restaurant

We finished our day at a restaurant in Patio Bellavista. It was a nice day, and all-in-all, I think Tony would be proud.


Friday, December 2, 2011


On Saturday night, Fluor Chile held its annual Christmas party. This was the same night that Zack had to go home to Greenville. I was so sad for him to leave, but it was nice to have something fun to do after he left. The party was humongous. And it wasn’t just a party…it was an experience.

The fiesta started at 8:30, and they literally rolled out red carpets for the guests to walk in on. The party began with an outdoor cocktail hour with fancy appetizers and cocktails, as well as a DJ. They moved us all inside around 10 PM, and as soon as I walked inside I felt like I was at the Oscars. It was amazing.

The 4-course dinner was served around 10:45 PM (thankfully I had eaten my first dinner earlier with Zack), and after dinner the party really got started. There was tons of entertainment, prizes, music, and karaoke. I left the party at 3:30 AM, but the party didn't stop until close to 5 AM. Crazy!

Here are some pictures from the evening:
In the hotel lobby before Zack left

With my friend Lindsay from Texas

After you walked the red carpet, you walked through the crazy fog machine thing

Humongous and beautifully decorated

I'm going to miss my co-workers when I leave: Carolina, Maria Angelica, and Daniela

I didn't win the trip to Buenos Aires, but six other lucky people did...the party was hosted by famous Chilean TV personalities (you can see them on the stage, but I was really far away)

Maria Angelica and Daniela

Carolina and her husband Patricio

The first band of the evening played Latin music...the dance floor was full all night

If you haven't already figured this out, Chileans really love a good party!

Tomorrow is my last Saturday in Chile! I can't believe I will be en route to Greenville in only one week! They've started to decorate for Christmas at my hotel, and that has really made me ready to go home because I'm eager to get my own house decorated for Christmas! (Not to mention that it's odd seeing Christmas trees and lights when it's 85 degrees outside.)