Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back Home

Testing out my new tripod head I woke up this morning to a cold and rainy day. For a second, I thought I was back in Tacoma. I decided to hang out here for one more night. No reason to take an extra trip into the hills just for clouds and rain.

After chilling out in my room—literally, no heat in my room—for the morning, I went out for lunch. Temuco has around a quarter-million inhabitants. It's pretty modern, but has the usual rundown parts like most Latin American cities. It's got all the stores of any big city, and I also ran across a decent mall. Then there are also the typical street vendors selling everything from home-cooked food to umbrellas, clothing, fruit, and magazines.

The hole-in-the-wall restaurant I found for lunch was perfect. It served chicken—grilled right in front of you—fries, and pastries. The grill is the typical type found in Latin America. You've got a big concrete slab that comes up to about waist height with an iron structure about a foot above it—made of angle iron in this case—used for grilling the food. There's some space off to the side where wood is burned and coals created. After you have coals, you shovel them over underneath the iron grill. It is in this manner that food is barbequed in Latin America. Very nice. A ¼ chicken, fries, a bottle of pop, and a pastry cost me about $3.70. Rock on.

I'm staying in a little "hotel" that you would never ever find on your own. The taxi driver—who thought that twenty-thousand pesos was cheap—brought me straight here when I told him that I was thinking more along the lines of ten. It's called La Casa de Toya, and appears to be the abode of a local family, but with three extra rooms and a good-sized full bathroom upstairs. Each room has multiple beds and is quite spacious. Additionally, there is WiFi which works well. The hosts are very nice. The address is Bello N° 474, the fax number is (45) 329163, and the phone number is (45) 724708. Recommended—at least if the weather's not too cold.

On a separate note, while I'm thinking of it, when I was back in Buenos Aires, I went into a Burger King for breakfast the morning I got cash from my newly-replaced VISA card. As I was waiting for my order, I witnessed the manager come in and proceed to walk around to each employee and kiss them. In the States, this would be grounds for a lawsuit. In Latin America, I would simply call it good management.

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