the last few days i've been in those two cities. i really liked walking through santiago and could see living there. valparaiso was ok...i bet i'd like it better in the summer.
in the plaza in santiago i inadvertantly got a picture of a street performer and his crowd while taking a picture of the cathedral. as you can see, "freddy loco" stopped the show, or made me part of the show. he told me i had to pay to take pictures of his show, but i informed him it was the cathedral i was photographing, and argued it was much prettier than he was. he didn't argue, but i paid him anyway. the blonde in the middle of the circle was from germany. she didn't speak much spanish, but had been roped into the show, which was a role she enjoyed so little that at one point when old freddy was talking to some other audience member she just ran away. it was funny.
a cool thing about santiago is it's this big city with a great metro system and stuff, , but if you look off in the distance, you see the andes towering over the city. on the downside, though, there is that smog, too. but overall it's pretty cool.
these pictures were taken from a hill that has a fortress on it. it used to be used for protecting the city. you can imagine the spanish fighting many vicious battles against the rebelling indigenous people. now they sell ice cream here. true story!
sorry millhouse, but it was time. here's me getting the first haircut i've paid for in probably 5 years. i got exactly the same haircut i've been giving myself for quite some time, which is either a commentary on my need for a change or my hair's total inflexibility. they thought it was strange i wanted a picture of the process, but for my part i thought it was strange it took them so long to do a job that always takes me about 5 minutes to do--on myself! as a plus, i became pretty good friends with the three ladies working at the old peluquería, and i swear one of them had a pretty big crush on me. AND i talked them down to 3500 pesos for the job. so i saved money, too.
this is a picture from valparaíso, which as you might guess, is a port city. i included the trash on the shore to help you imagine that disgusting ocean smell that port cities have. everything rotting smells better when it's rotting in the water. they had a restaurant along the shore, which i thought was weird, but i guess it's more authentic that way. whatever.
here's a view from on top of valpo. i got up here on those famous elevator cars. at least my guide book says they're famous, but i hadn't heard of it. so it's one of those secretly famous things. like adam smith is a famous economist. (i read about econ on wikipedia once so i could impress janae with my knowledge of a field i don't know anything about. wikipedia: it will help you find a girlfriend.)
now three more people (i think four read the blog, but probably one of them already knew about these things) have seen the valparaíso lifts. they're all about 100 years old (some a bit more, some a bit less), and my guide book also says they are a marvel of engineering. i guess can't say they're especially NOT a marvel of engineering, so i'm taking their word for it.
i took this picture because that statue looked suicidal to me, like he's been immortalized in the moment just before he jumped off the roof of this building. see, the beauty shop ladies were the longest conversation i've had in probably 2 weeks, so i've probably gone crazy. er.
in other news, i have recently decided to cut my trip back down to its original size, so i'm leaving south america august 3 instead of 18. i'm sure you'll wonder why, so let's see if i can explain it very well at all. for some reason, i've recently just sort of burned out on traveling (for now). i mean, i keep seeing more things, and not really being that excited about it. for one thing, it seems like a waste of money to keep on seeing things when i'm not even enjoying seeing them, and for another, it makes me restless, and i sort of want to get started on what i'll do next--i'm ready to start real life again (but only for awhile, mind you). so i decided to come back a bit early, and save buenos aires and iguazú falls with my mom for another day. when i AM excited to see what's there. so i'll see you all when you thought you'd see me when i left in the first place. yay!