I am updating this as I am watching the first two episodes of The Amazing Race that have been posted to Youtube. At first I thought that I would have to suffer through hearing family and friends telling me all about it without being able to follow along, but I am saved.
The past 3 days or so have blurred together. It has involved yummy food like schwarmas (gyros) and churros con chocolate. I haven't had either since my last trip to Europe about 5 years ago. The delicious part of the churros con chocolate was the dark chocolate and dulce de leche that they provided as dipping sauces:
The hostel I am staying at is nice, but the lack of privacy and small kitchen have been getting to me. Here is a picture of what my room (that I am sharing with 2 others) looks like:
The bunk bed looked like the wooden frame was cracking, so until the owner could check it out they gave me a room all to myself for the first night. Here I am in it:
So I started looking around for an apartment. I took the program director's advice of wandering around neighborhoods where I would like to live and just walked into lobbies of apartment complexes to ask if they had any places free. This did not work out well, as every place but one (out of 9 visited) told me that they didn't have any apartments to rent. The one place that did have a studio to rent cost 360.000 pesos, or about $600 per month. And of course I found this out after waiting 45 minutes for the owner to show up.
Originally I wanted to have my own apartment to have my own privacy, but I realized the two major drawbacks to this would be the cost and not having social contact with any Chileans. So I decided to change my plan to try to find a room in a house or apartment with Chileans. I also decided to try searching online, and I found a great living situation.
So, I will be living in a 4 bedroom house with 2 Chileans and a German. For 95.000 pesos (about $190 per month) I will have a furnhised bedroom, common area with TV, wifi, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a washer/dryer. This is an amazing deal, and the only additional cost will be gas (which will be split amongst all of us). By American standards this would not be an acceptable situation with the condition of everything, but by Chilean standards this is a great place: