Starting week #2

3 Jun

Well, I’ve been here for 2 weeks now. In some ways it feels longer than that. In some ways I am already accustomed to the pace here. It isn’t so different from any other big city. I was sick last week with a cold. I’m guessing between the travel fatigue and shift in temperatures my immune system was not at it’s best. Don’t worry kiddies, I’m A-OK now. Going to look into starting Spanish classes soon… and I’m picking stuff up a little at a time.

Here is an odd tidbit of information for you guys.  In Santiago the smog is the worst in the winter. So, I actually have chest aches like I do in L.A. when we have smog warnings.  The explanation about the winter smog is that during the summer months almost of 1/2 the population of Santiago leaves on vacation.  In Chile it is required that everyone receives at least 3 weeks of vacation a year.  .. and take it they do!  (Side note:  I must post about all the other awesome benefits workers get another time… )  Thus even in the summer when smog levels would be higher, there are way less cars on the road.

So, why is the smog so bad?  Well… Santiago in surrounded by mountains + a lot of cars on the road.  It’s the similar to what happens in the San Gabriel Valley, except worse.  When the smog levels get high or are anticipated to get high, the city limits the amount of cars allowed on the road.  They accomplish this by posting a list of several pairs of numbers.  Any cars with license plates ending in those numbers are restricted from being on the road that day.  Not that this system really helps very much. Luckily the rain has really kept the smog from getting very bad these past few weeks.  Below is a shot showing the view from my living room.  Actually you can still see a bit of yellow smog haze even though this was taken the day after it stopped raining.  Nice eh?  Unfortunately I’m told that it isn’t usually this clear.  Oh well better enjoy it while it lasts.


2 Responses to “Starting week #2”

  1. Kent June 5, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Well, at least you are prepared for traffic and smog! 😉 I remember way back when I first moved to the SGV, I didn’t know there were mountains behind the foothills… I didn’t see them for the first six months because of the smog!

    It has gotten a lot better since then, I think.

    Ahh… Memories… haha 😉

  2. Peachy June 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm #

    The traffic can get bad here, but it isn’t on the scale of LA traffic. The freeways are max 2 lanes wide. ^_^

    Most of the traffic occurs in the city’s main streets… it’s like driving through downtown LA at 6pm O.o

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