August 18, 2003


Got back into Reno on Thursday night, Dan, Daveo and Shanny picked me up from SFO after my flight got in an hour late due to wacky mechanical problems in LAX. The pilot had below average public speaking skills and got everyone on the plane freaked out about "unauthorized personnel" using "unauthorized parts." Anyway, I made it, and now I've been back in Reno for a few days, still getting adjusted to not being in Santiago anymore. I really miss my Southamerican home, 'specially Caro and my house and the Venezuelan restaurant and what have you, but I've already decided that I'm going back during midsemester break in December. Okay, here's some lists:

Top 18 Best Moments of this Past Year
1 First date with Caro
2 Boat ride from Isla de Ometepe back to Nicaraguan mainland
3 My 21st birthday party at my house in Santiago with lots of people, lots of vegan Peruvian food from my landlady, lots of good Chilean wine, and lots of vomiting
4 Afternoon with Mendoza, Argentina family who were friends with Theresa's roommates
5 Smoking cuban cigars and drinking mojitos with Dan at Dago's house in Vinales, Cuba
6 Caro's birthday party in April, one week after we met
7 Walking to La Sebastiana with Caro in Valparaiso
8 Playa Tamarindo sunset on first beach trip in Costa Rica.
9 Arriving at the Towers with Jeff from Antartica at Parque Nacional Torres del Paine
10 Camping in at about 10 degree Fahrenheit (about minus 13 Celsius) temperatures in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego.
11 Juan the Argentine and I swimming through thousands of Bolivians on the last day of the Alasitas Fair in La Paz
12 Jen Giorgio's birthday party 5 days after getting to Heredia, otherwise known as the night Vince and I discovered Doble Cero, the best bar ever
13 Smoking my last three cuban cigars on my roof in Santiago with Reinhard and Leo
14 The first Madrid-Man. U. Champions League game in my living room, drinking Austral with all my soccer loving housemates in Santiago
15 Crossing the border from Argentina back into my beloved Chile at the Coiyaque Alto border crossing in the south
16 The bus ride from Coiyaque to Chaiten along the Carretera Austral in Aysen, Chile's 11th region
17 Watching a thousand Chileans go nuts as the Breeders played Gigantic
18 Being in Buenos Aires when Carlos Menem renounced his presidential candidacy

Top Quotes
John from Vegas, orientation night in Costa Rica "The Mormons totally ruined BYU."
Scott, busride on weeklong trip in Costa Rica "Get your hand out of my face before I slap it?"
Scott again "Dude, the moon has an aura."
Mormon mission on plane over LA "That highway has to have, like, 7 lanes."
Other Steve from Santiago program in email from Italy "We're about to go out for some Italian food. Here they just call it 'food'."
Economics professor (I forgot his name) from Santiago "You don't see any snow rabbits running down Republica street, do you?" (translated)
Same awful economics professor "It was a new business management idea that came from ham." (translated again, the words 'Japan' and 'ham' are very similar in Spanish)
Mike from Hawaii "Dude, Jesus was illmatic."
Exchange between the Canadian Todd and professional skateboarder Chris Senn at a club after the skate demo in Guadalupe, Costa Rica:
Todd "It sucks that every day you guys are here you have to do demos."
Chris Senn "Yea, I'd really rather have a job or something."

Strangest and Coolest People (besides Caro and my housemates)
1. Vinny and Jeff and Scott, of course
2. Patricio Rivas, history professor from this past spring and best professor I've had in my university career
3. The Finn from the hostel in Granada, Nicaragua
4. Steve, the slack jawed engineering major from Alabama
5. Jake from Philly, met at hostel in Buenos Aires
6. The grandpa of the Argentine family we spent an afternoon with in Mendoza
7. Dago from Vinales, Cuba

Top Songs
1. "Carnaval" by Lucybell
2. "Obstacle 1" by Interpol
3. "Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset" by Modest Mouse
4. "Pilot" by The Notwist
5. "The New" by Interpol
6. "Caballos De Histeria" by Lucybell
7. "Out On The Weekend" by Neil Young
8. "Little Fat Baby" by Sparklehorse
9. "Loro" by Pinback
10. "There There" by Radiohead

Top Foods
1. Beans and rice and fried bananas from my host mom Sabrina in Costa Rica
2. Almendras Confitadas (carmelized almonds) from the Bio Bio market in Santiago
3. Arepitas from the Venezuelan restuarant by my house in Santiago
4. Empanadas from El Rinconcito in the center of Heredia
5. Veggie burgers from the restaurant owned by UFO cultists in La Paz, Bolivia
6. Dago's dinner for me and Dan in Vinales, Cuba
7. Caro's nanny Berta's gnocchi
8. Grilled tofu and rice from Bambu, the vegetarian restuarant in Valparaiso
9. The vegetarian buffet in the center of Buenos Aires
10. French fries pretty much anywhere in Valparaiso
11. Couscous on my LanChile flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile

Best Drinks
1. Imperial beer from Doble Cero. Period.
2. Austral beer from Chile
3. Santa Ema's merlot from Chile
4. Kunstmann Bock from Chile
5. Dago's mojitos from Cuba
6. Quilmes beer from Argentina
7. Johnny Walker Red Label at the beach in Costa Rica

What else? I'm sure I'll think of some other stuff. Dan just told me that I should get more specific on number 2 of my Best Moments list. I will some other time; as for now, this update has gone on way too long, and besides, I want some almendras confitadas.

Posted by steve at August 18, 2003 08:13 PM