So Long, Santiago...
March 8, 2007

I was a girl with errands to run on this last day in Santiago.

First stop: Brazil Consulate. I was hoping and praying that no snags occurred. Those hopes and prayers were answered as I was
issued my passport even before the office officially opened. Definite sign that it was going to be a good day.

Now that I had my passport in hand, I could go to buy my bus ticket for tomorrow to Mendoza (Argentina). While I’m normally not
ahead of the game with these types of things, I really
did want to buy this ticket prior to this – it just wasn’t possible without having
possession of my passport. But it didn’t matter. Lots of seats were still available. So many people have raved to me about the scenic
ride to Mendoza; it was because of this that I opted for a window seat. When it came time to pick the actual seat, I was shown my
options. I used some common sense to know that I wanted to be on the side of the bus that only had two window seats left (as
opposed to the other side that still had almost every window seat available). I deducted that the occupants of the window seats on
the driver’s side of the bus knew
exactly what they were doing when choosing their seats.

I read somewhere about an artisan market in the wonderful Las Condes section of the city called ‘Los Dominicos’. When I looked at
a map, I saw that it wasn’t close to any metro stops. I really didn’t want to take a taxi just to go to a market. The good news was
that I wouldn’t have to. Who needs metros when you have buses?

The market was definitely not a ‘local market’ but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t chaotic or packed – it was lined with little shops, most
of which sold handmade products. I found a few things to buy: a gift for my sister (I liked it so much I bought one for myself, as
well), a few pairs of earrings and a ring made out of copper and silver. I probably paid too much for the stuff but what are you gonna

There was just one thing left that needed to get done before leaving this city: laundry. Never fun but always necessary.

I am off to pick up my clothes in a few minutes. Then I can head off to my last dinner in Santiago. Barrio Bellavisa – here I come!

March 9, 2007

I would like to think there is a such thing as karma. If there is, then I am in good shape…

I met a girl at my hostel and we decided to go to dinner together. She’s a younger English girl (22 years old) and is traveling with a
friend of hers from England. Dinner was a bit longer than we had planned. We came to find out the hard way that the metro stops
running at 10:30pm (as it was now 11:30pm). Since Emma had used all of her money for dinner, she now needed to take a taxi to
pick up her bags and money from where her friend was staying (his parents are now visiting him so she wanted to give them a bit of
‘alone time’). She was going to go from there and come to the hostel. Well, she had no money (as someone robbed her of her
passport and credit cards/ATM cards when she was at a bus station in Buenos Aires). She asked if she could borrow some and I told
her it wouldn’t be a problem at all. I lent her 10,000 Chilean pesos. She told me she would be back shortly.

Well, she never came back…and I had an early morning bus ride. I am referring to it as a ‘Good Samaritan Donation’. I know that
she wasn’t trying to pull one over on me. I truly, truly know it. I am sure that her friend and his parents thought it was far too late
for her to get into a cab on her own.

In the end, I left her a little note asking her to email me just to know for sure that she made it to her friend’s place safely. Who
knows if I will hear from her…but at least I can be sure that she will remember that nice girl from San Francisco who totally helped
her out while she was traveling…
Back to Chile.
In beautiful Las Condes..
The Los Dominicos Mercado.