I’d booked a highly rated hotel before arriving in the capital to appease my aching body and planned to take a couple days to recover from the trek. I had fallen quite a way behind with work as well as keeping this blog up to date, so perhaps I didn’t give the city the time it deserved, but at least I felt better after leaving.
On one of the days I was riding the underground metro system, when a man got on the train and was standing directly opposite me, about a metre away. I hadn’t taken much notice, until he revealed a microphone from his pocket and switched on the speaker that I hadn’t even clocked until this point. The carriage wasn’t very busy, so the majority of people were sitting down and I was the only one really that close to the singer. I just stood there, as this stranger started singing to me, or at least that’s what it must have looked like for the other passengers, while I tried to concentrate hard on which station I needed to get off at, hoping it would speed things along. It wouldn’t have been that akward, but the speaker kept cutting out, with awkward silences in between, as he frantically tried to get it on again. The doors opened, it was my stop. I slid past, no tip.
On one occasion I go to get money out, but the cash machine isn’t working. The lady behind me sees this and tries to help out, but even using her advanced ATM skills, it still doesn’t work. She takes me by the hand at first and leads me to another machine close by, where my card works without an issue. After thanking her, we have a little chat and she asks me where I’m heading while motioning to come around the corner with her. The cogs have turned by this point and soon after she asks me if I’m looking for a “good time”, I decline with a smile and go on my way. It was only the next day that I realised the street near to where I got the money out seemed to have quite a few of these ladies hanging around, either that or they were wearing some traditional make up that made them look like street workers.
As I was walking around the city, on nearly every traffic light stop there would be some sort of performer, or “traffic light opportunist” as I dubbed them. Some would simply sell water and other refreshments, while others would dance, perform acrobatics, or juggle for their dime. The passing motorists paid up more often than not and it seems like an efficient use of time that would otherwise be spent daydreaming.
After a couple days locked away in the hotel I wanted to do a bit of exploring. I soon stumbled upon the pre Colombian (pre Colombus) museum, which was very modern and informative. It had pieces from many of the ancient civilisations from all over South America, before Christopher Columbus showed up and started screwing with everything. Some of the pieces were in exquisite condition, considering how old they were and the detail in some of the pottery and textiles really surprised and impressed me. I arrived at the museum about 2 hours before it closed, but I could have spent at least half a day in there, to really inspect all the items in detail. The museum even had an app you could download and get audio guides for the majority of the displays, in both English and Spanish. I had watched a few documentaries on ancient South American civilizations, so seeing these memories come to life had a lot more impact than in other museums I’d visited. Unfortunately the lighting in the museum wasn’t very helpful for getting good pictures of the pieces, but I did get a couple okay ones.
I met up with Justin again, just before he got on his flight back to the Netherlands the following day. We found a similar urban space like I’d seen in Córdoba previously and necked a few cocktails before heading out to some clubs. I had to go back to the hostel to put on some jeans as apparently my shorts weren’t fit for the public. We soon moved on to a different club which had a better vibe, and drank and danced the night away, I lost Justin as I do everyone when I get to a certain stage and somehow navigated back to the hostel. I was butt naked when I came to the next day, on top of the sheets. It must have been quite the wake up call for my room mates. I had to get the padlock smashed off my locker as I’d lost the key. I decided to get out of the rut I’d found myself and in and got on the next bus to Viña del Mar.