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Living through it

27 Feb

Got to bed late on Friday night.  Watching TV and playing online.  I’d probably slept for only 1 hour before the shaking started.  Shook hubby’s arm, “KH, earthquake!”  He was already awake and alert like me.  At first I figured I’d just wait for the shaking to stop then go back to sleep.  My usual quake MO.  About 30 seconds into it when the smaller ones usually stop this one kept going and got stronger.  It was like someone hit the turbo or something.  Both of us realized at this point it was a big one.

We were rolling and bouncing around on the bed like someone put marbles in a box and shook it.  The wall behind us starts making cracking sounds and bits of the wall stuff fall on us while we hear something crash.  Later we discovered this was our bookcase in the bedroom.  Once the shaking stopped we sat stunned.  It was so eerie.  It was dead quiet.  No cars driving by.  Nothing.  We checked that each other was okay and I ventured off the bed to promptly step on a fallen picture frame and break the glass.  After we getting our wits about us and our shoes on we got the flashlight and checked around the apartment.  Miraculously the bookcase was the only thing that fell over and the picture frame I stepped on the only thing that broke.

After a few minutes of wandering around KH suggested we go downstairs to the lobby to check with other people.  I wasn’t too happy about this but agreed.  I was always taught that it was safer indoors after a quake provided your building was relatively sound.  About half the building was out front or in the lobby.  No cell phone or land line service.  Everyone was worried about family and friends elsewhere.  Our building has a generator  (as do most in the neighborhood where I live.) Finally after waiting a few hours in the lobby we were given the okay to go back up.  Sleep was elusive and aftershocks constant.

Being from So Cal I’m fairly accustomed to earthquakes.  All things considered I’m somewhat surprised that I wasn’t at all scared during this whole event.  Registering 8.3 where we are and seeming to go on for ages, I think I’m going to be able to face any earthquake without blinking an eye now.

5 Cool Things About Chile

16 Jun

I think I spend a lot of time lamenting the things I don’t have access to living here.  I thought it was high time I used some blog space talking about some of the positives about living down here.  So with no further ado…

5 Cool Things About Chile

  1. They have beer on tap at the food court in the mall. ^__^  I’m sure may more woman could convince their SOs to go shopping with them stateside if malls had beer.
  2. On a Friday of a holiday weekend… young people gather in these chilean “pojangmacha” type bars in the neighborhood w/cheap plastic outdoor furniture and start partying at around 3 in the afternoon. w00t~ (Pojangmacha are small street vender/cafe type places w/cheap patio furniture that sell cheap food/alcohol in Korea.)
  3. The seafood and fresh veggies… oh I can sing the praises of the cheap fresh seafood and fruits and veggies. I think it’s because they have a really short farm to market time frame. If you pick the right days to go to the markets.. you can get stuff that is barely a day old. Interestingly all of the very top grade fruits and veggies aren’t sold to Chileans. I don’t think they’d pay the prices.. it all gets exported. Which explains all the really good Chilean fruit in Costco. lolempann
  4. The ski slopes are a 1 hour drive and the beach is 1 hr 15min away.  It’s very similar in that way to Los Angeles.  It’s great.  Feel like the beach? No problem!  Want to hit the slopes? It’s just a hop skip and jump away.  Not to mention that the ski resorts don’t have any trees for you to accidently run into.
  5. Empanadas… OHHH EMPANADAS~~~  MMmmmmm  My personal favorites are the razor clam/cheese ones.  Good Lordy these are good.  ‘Nuf said.

Why I’ve been MIA

4 May

Hello everyone!  So I’ve been MIA because I took a 1 month trip to Los Angeles to be the Maid of Honor at my best friend’s wedding and visit family.  I will blog about that another day.  In the meanwhile it’s suddenly gone from late summer directly to early winter here in Santiago.  I swear this country has only 2 seasons… (1) Warm, (2) Cold and smoggy  >__<;;

Here are some photos from this weekend:

hmmm I'm looking a little flushed >_<

These were taken at Lamu Lounge.

Earthquakes + Aftershocks = not fun

19 Dec

If you haven’t been following my twitter feed then you will interested to know that there was a 5.9 earthquake here yesterday evening.  To be more specific it was centered in Valparaiso, a coastal city about 1hr 15min from here.  It gave me a pretty good shaking and was the first time I’ve experienced being in an earthquake 1) alone & 2) not on the 1st floor.  Both of which made me a little more freaked out than normal.  I think I’ve become somewhat immune to earthquakes from growing up in California.  It helps that most of the large one’s I’ve felt have happened in the wee hours of the morning when I was sleeping.  In other words, the shaking woke me up but, I wasn’t really coherent.  Being not quite awake helps to reduce panic. 😛

Here’s a look at my twitter feed over the past 24 hours:

Kissmyapple OMG Earthquake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2008-12-18 16:21
Kissmyapple Ok… it’s over… Well that freaked me out. I don’t know where it was centered, from here felt like a 4. I’m ok.. just got a good shakin’ 2008-12-18 18:39
Kissmyapple Aftershocks……. T__T 2008-12-18 18:52
Kissmyapple lol watching CNN Chile live and the announcer who is live and in the middle of the finanical report stops, and says “oh it’s an aftershock” 2008-12-18 18:55
Kissmyapple Turns out it was a 5.9 centered about an hour from here. 2008-12-18 19:47
Kissmyapple …ugh woken up by another fairly strong aftershock at 6:20am. >__< 2008-12-19 11:22

I think my mental dialoge after the earthquake was pretty funny.  I’m standing in the kitchen alone, chopping veggies when the earthquake happens and then this is what happens:

  • … omg EARTHQUAKE
  • *pause* ok it isn’t that strong
  • I hope the hubby is ok
  • OMG I need to Twitter this!

So I stop what I’m doing and run to the computer. hahaha

Oh.. and since there I don’t have any pictures related to the earthquake here is a photo of Christina.  She’s the youngest of one of our friends down here.

Isn’t she adorable?  Apologies for the blurry pic but that kid moves fast!  Also…. doesn’t see look like someone to you?  hmmm?  Still don’t see it?  Here:

pucca

tee hee~

B.I.N.G.O.!

3 Dec

If you guys have been following my twitter feed.  (I have a copy of the feed on the left column of this page if you don’t have a twitter.)  You might have noticed that I won a bit of money playing blackjack last weekend.  They have a new casino here in Santiago, the Casino Monticello and the hubby & I went to check it out.

It’s supposed to be the biggest casino in South America.  A casino/hotel/convention center, they opened up about 2 months ago.  Located about 40 min outside of Santiago, driving out reminded me of driving to Morongo out in SoCal.  There is basically nothing major out there other than the casino.  They also have a ton of construction still going on.

The 1st stage is the only one that is finished. (Center in the photo).  They are working on the paseo now.  The photo was taken from the Monticello website and must be a computer rendering of what it is going to look like when it’s all done.  It is nicely done and reminds me of Vegas.  The color scheme is beige and cream something like the Bellagio.  On a funny note, I think it’s amusing that all the photos on the website are of tables with green felt when everything in there is beige.  There are some places to eat and bars, but as we were there at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon I just had some juice and can’t comment on the food or drinks.  I did like the glass chandeliers in the main foyer. I found a pic here:

It’s much prettier in person.  At the top of the escalator you’re pretty close to them.  (5ft from the tip of my hand raised up?)  Someone holding something tall could accidentally break one.  :/  Oh the women in the red dresses in the center..  that is what the women dealers had to wear.  Poor gals.

I want to share how they play bingo down here.  It’s my new favorite thing to do at a casino.  (The other being blackjack.)  You can find bingo in all the casinos here.  It’s kind of like keno in Vegas, you play where it’s quiet and you can grab some food/drinks while you’re playing.  The game play is much simpler than American style bingo.  As you can see in the picture, the card is completely different.  You can win one of two things.  First is, línea.  This translates into ‘line.’  If you manage to fill one of the horizontal rows then you yell out “línea!”  This jackpot is small(er).  Then they check to see if you have correctly marked your card.  Someone w/a mic comes over and calls out your card # to the people up front. (#2474 in the pictured card)  They punch it into the system and up pops a copy on screen w/all the correct #s punched in.  They then continue the game.  Bingo is when you fill up all the numbers on your card.  I was 1 short of winning this game:

It’s pretty easy and even though I get confused w/my numbers above the 50’s they go slow enough for me to check the boards as they go.  The jackpots depend on how many card have been sold that game.  Here one card runs for 500 Chilean pesos, ie approx 75 cents USD.  I was playing two at a time.  Since we were there earlier on a Sunday it was very empty and the jackpots were línea: 2,500 & bingo 8,250.  (~30 cards sold)  OoOhhhh big money.  hehehehe  Actually, the real money is if you manage to hit bingo within a certain amount of numbers that they call, here it’s 40.  So if you hit bingo before the 40th ball is chosen then you get the special jackpot.  It was about $1400USD 14,000USD.  KH won línea 3 times & I hit bingo once.  It’s better if you go when it’s busy.. but fun nonetheless.

Differences between casinos.  You can eat in Vina’s bingo room, not at Monticello’s.  At the casino in Vina del Mar the numbers only go up to I think approx 60 or 70, here the max is 90.  Another difference is the special jackpot there is within 30 numbers. (I think… )  Ahhhh.. too bad we didn’t get the special jackpot.

Next time: Blackjack!

The Magic Number For Today is 3

11 Sep

Today is the third anniversary of the day of my wedding to my husband.  Incidentally, I also got married for the third time today to the aforementioned husband.

Let me explain.  I actually filed our wedding certificate with the Registrar Recorders office in Los Angeles several months before our wedding ceremony back in 2005.  We did this for immigration reasons for my husband.  Not to mention he’d be covered by the health insurance offered though my job sooner.  Marriage #1 – State of California.  Then in September 2005 after much stress, postponing and planning we were wed in a beautiful garden ceremony. Marriage #2 – Union under God.  This morning we went to the Registro Civil and had a civil ceremony.  Marriage #3 – Country of Chile.  The process to receive a Chilean residency is faster when you have a Chilean marriage certificate.  Or so I’m told.

I thought it was nice that we were able to “renew” our vows again on the day of our wedding anniversary.

When the officiant asked if we were to exchange rings the husband unexpectedly said yes, only one for the lady.  He then surprised me with this:

Happy Anniversary to me~  ^_^

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore…

20 Jul

I had the most shocking/unpleasant experience in Chile so far this past Saturday night on the way to a friend’s house for dinner.  :(((

The hubby and a I were driving over for a small dinner party that his friend Jose Luis had invited us to.  He’s a pretty big time chef here and specializes in Spanish food.  Jose Luis and his wife Gisella recently moved to a new house in Macul so it was a bit of a housewarming party as well.  (We’re in Vitacura for reference…)  We were almost there… and waiting at red light on a major intersection when it happened.

While discussing how hungry the two of us were, KH had been looking in the side and rear view mirrors at the stop.  He suddenly hollered that there was a thief and grabbed my purse and put it in between the two of us while checking that the doors were locked.  Some guy had a big rock and ran up to the car behind us and slammed it into the driver’s side window.  Luckily the light turned green and everyone drove off like a bat out of hell.  Seriously shaken I asked what the @!%# was going on.

Apparently we were in an area that was middle class on the left.. and lower class to the right.  There are thieves who target women alone in cars.  They break the window glass… grab and run.  Luckily the lady behind us must have had reinforced glass windows and the window didn’t break.

What really bothers me the most about this incident is the type of place we were in when it happened.  It was like any major intersection in the burbs in LA with 3 lanes going each way at about 8pm.  In a middle class neighborhood.  I wouldn’t have been at all nervous walking around in that area from the way it looked.  You know how in LA there are some people who sell oranges/roses/etc. at freeway entrances/exits?  Well there are vendors like that at almost every major intersection in the city.  Not to mention the pedestrians, people waiting for buses, etc.  So if you didn’t see the rock or weren’t paying particular attention then you wouldn’t have even given the guy a second thought.  Talk about a false sense of security.

Since living here I’ve learned to not take a purse out unless absolutely necessary to avoid tempting purse thieves.  Also, to always be aware of my surroundings and people when walking about.  KH is thinking of having our car glass replaced with the reinforced kind.  I’m kind of freaked about what happened.  You’d think that if you stayed away from the “bad” areas of town and keep your doors locked when driving that it would be enough.  I guess not…