Sunday, August 15, 2010

The End of Winter, Adventures at the Gym, Food, and More Musings about Linguistics

So now that it is mid August, the weather is starting to warm up.  During the day it has been sunny, and it has been getting up to 65 or so.  It is still cold in the evenings and mornings, but it is not as bad as it was in July.  I heard that this winter was the coldest winter in Santiago's history since they started keeping records 90 years ago.  It somehow is just my luck to be home in Jersey for a winter of recordbreaking snowfall and then come to South America for its coldest winter on record.

The gym continues to be an adventure.  The branch located closest to my apartment has been closed for the past month or so due to a gas leak of some type, so I actually found another branch that is right on the way home from teaching classes.  It is also a short bus ride from my place, which is pretty convenient compared to all of the other locations.  I was there on Saturday, and after being on an elliptical for about 10 minutes the staff came around and told everyone that we had to leave and the gym was closing.  Why was this?  Becuase they had scheduled to take out ever single machine in the gym to be tested that they were in good working order.  When would they be opening again?  At some date in the future.

Now what would make sense to me would be to have this happen closer to the time the gym was actually closing (This was a Saturday at 12:00, and the gym was supposed to be open until 5).  If that wasn't possible, it would also make sense to me to put up a sign warning people on their way in.  But then I remembered that I am in Chile, and things don't happen in that way here.

Luckily there was beautiful weather, and so I walked home.  It was about a 45 minute stroll, which was the amount of time I planned on spending on the elliptical anyway.  I am looking forward to the warmer weather and being able to enjoy time in the sun again.

Talking about the gym takes me to the next logical topic: food.  So there is this chain restaurant in Santiago called Dominó.  They make sandwiches and quick meals, but they are also healthy.  All seating is pretty much at a counter, and so you eat quickly and everything is pretty fast paced there.   They also have a great breakfast promotion.  You get a paila (which is like a small round shaped pan) of eggs with ham, toast, fresh squeezed orange juice, and tea for 1650 pesos.  That´s equal to about 3 bucks:

I love this for a few reasons: 1. It´s affordable.  2. It´s healthy.  3. It´s quick. 4. They are all over downtown Santiago.  I like getting it as a second breakfast after I finish teaching my morning classes during the week.  I feel like you can´t find a deal like this with a portion size like this and that is healthy and quick in the States.

Now one food that I think looks really disgusting is this:

This is bread covered with avocado.  My friend Luis ordered it when we met up for coffee this morning.  It reaffirms my belief that Chile is in love with avocado and will put it on any food possible: hot dogs, hamburgers, bread, etc.

And in surprising news I found a place to buy Kit Kats in Santiago!  I went up to a kiosk in downtown Santiago near my work to buy some breath mints, and I noticed that they had Kit Kats.  They were only the smallest size (that you would get in a big bag like you would buy at Halloween), but they are still Kit Kats.  They cost 200 pesos each (about 40 cents), and so I was good and just bought one.  It has the same text on it (partially in Spanish, partially in Arabic) as the Kit Kate I found in Peru.  I have the feeling I will be stopping by every once in a while to get my Kit Kat fix until Dana can bring me a bag when she comes down to visit in September.

I am loving teaching English to business people here.  My students are motivated to learn, and they all have interesting personalities and stories they bring to class.  And they also have really good questions.

For example:

1. In what contexts do you use the verbs carry, hold, and bring, and what are the differences?

2. Why do you get on a bus but get in a car?

3. Are there any verbs that you do not conjugate in the 1st or 2nd person (saying I, you, or we as your subject) in English?

If you would like to post your answers to those 3 questions I am curious to see what you think.  I will post my response in a few days.

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