i've totally lost even remote contention for the "most original titles" award to be given at the end of the year at the annual bloggies. but i think this blog has been all about utility since day one, and i stand by that reputation. those cities, these pictures:
when i enter this photograph in the state fair competition, i'm going to call it "sunrise in temuco". just so everyone knows what they're looking at. see? utility, people! i took this picture from where i stayed that night, in a "hospedaje", which is what you call it when someone has extra rooms in their house and they let travelers stay in them. i do this because it's cheap and not because i expect comfort, but i think anyone would be disappointed when, after first entering the house and seeing space heaters (ooooh, space heaters. if there were space heaters in the time of the incas, machu picchu would be filled with rooms to worship THOSE as their god and not the sun or whatever) and actually feeling warm for once, you arrived at your room and realized they don't heat that part of the house. as a bonus, all night long if i ever wondered if i'd died i just opened my eyes to see if i could still see my breath. as a further bonus, there was a dog chained directly beneath my window (apprently to patrol this parking area) who was good enough to let me know if a person, car, or bug passed through the lot. or if he'd had a bad dream, or was bored, or couldn't sleep, or...just felt like barking. he felt like barking a lot.
i didn't read the sign, so i'm not sure what indegenous god or tradition i'm disrespecting in this picture. but i thought it was funny, which you can tell if you look at my face very hard because i'm smiling. actually, i'm smiling because just as the timer on my camera was going off i realized i wasn't alone, and these chilean people were looking at me all funny. so i laughed at my joke, grabbed my camera, and ran away.
here's temuco from above. from a hill. i guess that's pretty much all that's going on here. let's go to valdivia now.
this one, i call "me and the sea lion". look how perplexed i am by the presence of sea lions. or maybe i'm skeptical. "psh! sea lions? here? i don't think so!" look how close i am to the sea lion! if i'd realized the photo was focused on me and not the sea lion, i would have tried again. because you all know what i look like by now. but the sea lion, you haven't seen, and he had character. you could tell he didn't like being foregrounded by me, but he didn't have a camera, so he had to just deal with it.
they do a market in valdivia where they sell fruits and vegetables and seafood. at first glance, it probably looks like this is just a picture of a guy who filets salmon (mmmm...sake sashimi), but this picture made the blog cut because of the sea lion in the background. filet guy had this huge piece of rebar he'd occasionally get out to hit the sea lion so he'd go away, but the sea lion knew who was really in charge, so he just pretended to leave, and then came right back. look at how sneaky he is!
here's another market photo. believe you me, i WANTED to buy me some fresh salmon and clams, but i really didn't have the means to prepare them. it definitely made me think of and pine for sushi, though. oh, sushi. betsy and i are going to eat sushi right away when i get back. and indian food. she was always my indian food and sushi buddy back in lincoln. we'll probably also split a chipotle burrito, which became a tradition after betsy had been unemployed for awhile and went broke. i can tell you that because betsy never comes to this blog. tee-hee!
i took these two pictures about 20 minutes apart. it turned out that what looked like a sunny day (which my hospedaje owner cheerfully and confidently told me we were going to have, for which reason i left my rain coat at home, bringing sunglasses instead) was just the rain catching its breath.
it rains pretty much non-stop around here (it's raining in this picture, if you can't tell). it's kind of a drag, because it's also very cold here. after valdivia i went to puerto montt in the lake district, which is where i'm writing this, and it's pretty much the same story here. in fact, i had the reassuring sight of my own breath last night, too. from here, though, i'm crossing from the lakes (it's the part of southern chile that looks like it's dissolving into the ocean on the map) to the east, which means crossing the patagonian mountains and going to argentina, where i hope to ski a little. in other words, i guess i won't have as much rain there. because it will be snowing. i said that last part to tease my dad. haha! how's the heat in kansas city, dad?