Getting better all the time

Eggs sin refrigeration

I have one word for international travelers: yogurt.  If you plan on traveling outside your home domain, its a good idea to consume a gallon or two of yogurt before you leave.  So said a very well traveled friend of mine who never got sick despite dining on things like 100 year old eggs.  I, however, neglected to follow this advice and paid the price.  Despite never suffering from drinking soda in Mexico with ice cubes or, even worse, eating food from street vendors in pre-earthquake Port-Au-Prince,  I was never-the-less ravaged by the local fauna.  The past week was mostly spent in my hotel room, to afraid to venture very far without a bathroom nearby.  I apologize for the lack of updates on this blog, but there really wasn’t anything to tell.

I did manage to venture out Sunday afternoon to a local mall and meet with Lance, an astronomer working on the ALMA project.   I’m still not comfortable with the bus or subway system, so I ended up walking.  At least I’m getting lots of exercise this way!  It was nice to spend some time with another American and pick up any tips he had for surviving Chile.  Lance spoke fluent Spanish, so I think things are going a little bit easier for him.  He was able to order furniture, pay for it, and have it delivered to his apartment.  I still can’t buy ginger ale from the grocery store without getting yelled at by the cashier.  Anyway, I spent a few hours with him walking around the mall and asking questions.  The more I get used to being here, the less different it feels.  The mall was similar to a mall back home, only much much nicer.  The furniture store was a dead ringer for IKEA, and the grocery store was similar except for unrefrigerated dairy products and an abundance of carbonated water (aqua SIN gas, por favor!).

Lance and I parted ways soon after, and I decided to break down and stop at McDonalds.  I really wanted to avoid eating anything “american” down here, but it was a little late for lunch and too early for dinner and I thought I could get a quick snack.  Unfortunately, the concept of fast food is a little different down here.  Both people ahead of me inline had a 5 minute conversation with the cashier, none of this “I’ll have a #1 with a coke”.  Not that having a meaningful conversation with people is a bad thing (I look forward to adopting to this once I can speak the language), its just taking me a while to get used to it.  I concluded that this was all too complicated for a big mac, so I left and picked up some tomatoes and avocado’s at a local convenience store on my walk home.

That pretty much ended my adventures in Santiago for a while.  I spent the next few days in the hotel room, not eating and sleeping.  Alina eventually convinced me to get some medicine and I recovered.  Hopefully my body is used to the local food and I can explore Chile without worry.  More to come…


4 Responses to “Getting better all the time”

  1. Aunt Chris Says:

    Great blogging D! Glad to hear your digestion is improved and that you are settling in. Can’t wait to hear about how the job goes on Monday. I’m copying all your blogs (just in case you need back-up for your book!)
    Take care and good luck.
    Love you.

  2. Alan Harris Says:

    Hi Derek
    Best take your Dad’s advice and partake of cinnamon and honey.
    Best regards
    Unc Alan

  3. Darlene Jasas Says:

    Nick had the same problem when we were in Santiago. Fortunately I had some Immodium. When that was gone I tried to buy more at the Pharmacy. You can guess how that went!! I finally conveyed what I needed, but it wasn’t nearly as good. Anyway, he got better after a couple of days. Drink the bottled water from now on – and no ice cubes. Good luck.

  4. Angela Wolynski Says:

    Are you learning Spanish? Or is that the language they speak? Do they offer classes at the worksite, or do you have to learn in your free time?

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