Thursday, May 6, 2010

Movies, Ice Cubes in the Urinals, Playing Bass, and Travel Plans

So I know I just updated about 10 hours ago, but I want to blog about this before I forget about it.

I saw How to Train Your Dragon with Rochelle, and it was completely in Spanish.  We were able to understand it save a few words here and there, and it was a nice treat enjoying kettle corn in a theater.  (The popcorn in movie theaters here are either salty or sweet, and there's no artificial butter flavor like back home)  It was a really cute movie and I'm glad we saw it.

And then I had another interesting toilet experience.  All of the urinals inside the men's restroom of the movie theater had ice inside them.  It was such a weird thing seeing my pee melt the ice in the urnial slowly, kind of like the Wicked Witch of the West that melted when the sun came out.  Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me to chronicle this, but I will definitely make a trip back for this sole purpose.

Since traffic home would have been crazy when we were getting out at 6:30 we decided that we would kill some time walking around or getting some coffee.  Right off to the side of the movie theater when I stepped out was a guy with a bass.  I told Rochelle right away I had to talk to him and see if he would let me play.

So I went up to him and introduced myself and asked if I could play.  Benjamin offered graciously (no bow, so I just plucked a tune by hand) and after a minute or so I went to give it back to him and thanked him.  But then he told me to play a song with his friend Johnny who had a harmonica and was blind.  They told me that it was in the key of G, and away we went.  I am more of a classical player, but I did a pretty good job of walking a bass line seeing that I have virtually no jazz training.  Rochelle played along on the tambourine, and Johnny alternated singing and playing the harmonica.  A small crowd gathered, and a few people snapped pictures.  One guy had his camera set up and recorded us.  Again, I wish I brought my camera!!!

After the song was over I thanked them, and they told me to come back and visit them another time.  They hang out at the same place each evening, so I am planning on going back next week with my bow too.

As we stopped for me to recharge my cell phone, the clerk and a guy waiting chatted with us.  They obviously noticed we were gringos, and they chatted with us a bit about where we were from and what we were doing there.  They laughed as I told them I wanted to put 10 luca (which is slang for 10,000 pesos, like saying 10 bucks) on my phone, and Rochelle and I threw in some more slang as we talked with them.  It put a smile on my face and I wished them a good evening as we left.

And then to top the day off, I got some great deals for airfares thanks to LAN Chile.  Instead of paying 400 bucks to fly directly into Cuzco to visit Machu Picchu, we are paying about 140 bucks to fly to Arica (in northern Chile and only about 25 km from the border with Peru) and then taking a bus from there.  It actually works out better, since Colca Canyon (which is bigger than the Grand Canyon) is actually between Arica and Cuzco.  I got a ticket to Temuco (south of Santiago probably about 8 hours in bus) for 80 bucks.  They have hot springs there as well as a volcano that you can climb, so that will be fun.  And last but not least, I booked my ticket to Easter Island for September.  Travel guides tell you to expect to pay up to 800 bucks, but I found a round trip flight for 416 bucks.  Yes, it's a lot of money.  But when else am I going to have the chance to visit a place that is so completely isolated from civilization?

That's all for now.  I'm glad tomorrow is Friday.

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