Monday, September 20, 2004

fiestas patrias

once again, i hate the internet. well, not the internet, but microsoft, more specifically, msn messenger - when you click a link, it should not open in the same window as the webpage you are currently looking at. perhaps on that webpage you were filling in a field, such as writing an entry for your blog. unless you're quick draw mcgraw with the mouse, or the backspace button, odds are you will lose those 3 paragraphs you spent the last 20 minutes writing.

anyway, what i wrote already and now get to say again was mostly about this weekend. it was fiestas patrias, roughly equivalent to the 4th of july, but with hints of thanksgiving thrown in. rather than set of fireworks, chileans eat chilean foods (empanadas, shish kabobs, and above all asado - grilled meat), drink chilean drinks (wine and chicha - fermented grape or apple juice), and dance chilean dances (cueca). kids play with kites all day (i'm not sure why, but it is aparently a traditional activity) and get them stuck in trees (i would have loved to take a picture, but the park i was at is "bien popular" according to my host brother, meaning it's a bit dangerous to walk about with expensive toys - well, not dangerous, just maybe you won't get to take your toy home with you).

on saturday i went to one of the biggest parks in the city where they have a festival to celebrate the holiday. there were insane amounts of people, families barbecuing, kids running about playing, lots and lots of kite strings to dodge. the music was mostly rumba and other pop music, but there were a couple of places playing traditional chilean cuecas. after i walked around the park and saw what there was to see (mostly other people doing the same thing or sitting around talking, eating, and drinking) i went to the gran fonda guachaca. a fonda is a tent/building with tables set up for people to eat and drink at, dance floor and live music, traditionally cueca. the fonda guachaca was in an old train station that is now a cultural center. quite a cool-looking building. as to a translation of guachaca, i'm not quite sure. it has to do with the pueblo, countryside, and the common people. i was also told things like it's the opposite of cuico (upper-class, with a strong negative connotation, usually refering to people who do things to distinguish themselves from the lower class, such as talk, dress, and act differently), and that to be a real guachaca all you have to do is drink a lot. in any case, the fonda guachaca was nice, with some really good music, and some rather annoying cuecas that can somewhat be related to bad country music. oh, fusbol is also a tradition chilean game (i'm using traditional loosely here, but supposedly they have it at all the fondas), so of course i played a game (and, not that it matters, but i won - maybe that has something to do with the table in the basement at home).

the rest of this past week was pretty eventless. i took my first test on wednesday, in abstract algebra. i think i did well, but we'll see when i get the results. on tuesday i went to a concert of XXth century french classical music, for saxophone and piano - quite good. on thursday i went to a play that reminded me of the armory free theater at the u of i, except it wasn't free (only $1.50, but that's ∞*0) nor was it affiliated with a university. it was decent, but not amazing - this could have something to do with my inability to understand any sort of artistic use of spanish, but i think it has more to do with it being an average play trying to do above average things.

now that i've had to rewrite all this, i'm going to do some reading and get to sleep.

1 comment:

Carl Brasic said...

∞*0? You used character map to write this entry, didn't you? ÿõ, τңΆτ˚Ş שάČқ