Monday, May 05, 2008

Week 13/26

Santiago [de Chile]


Notice: some of you may think that I'm in Latina America now. I'm not, but was there last month. Currently, I'm across the pond -and the equator- back to the real serious life.

40 hours in Chile

After the captain announced tha we entered the chilean arirspace, over the Andes, it took us only 30 minuted to land in Santiago.

I was there for two nights only, the first night I visited Bella Vista neighbourhood, where most of the dwellers of downtown santiago spend their nights, mainly the youngsters.
After a long hesitation I decided to have dinner in a sushi bar, it may sound strange, but many restaurants in Santiago serve sushi, and salmon is a main ingredient in their makis (rolls), the salmon there was one of the best I've ever tasted.

The next day I had breakfast in the 21st floor of the hotel, over looking Santiago's skyline, then headed to Bella Vista again to explore the neighbourhood in a different state. I visited Patio Bella Vista (very touristy) then paid an homage to the great Pablo Neruda by visiting his Santiago home/museum La Chascona.

After leaving la Chascona I checked my map to know my walking route and visisted the Fine Arts Museum, Casa Colorado, the shopping district in the old town, Plaza de Armas & Santiago's Cathedral. In Plaza de Armas, while taking a picture of a comedian he asked me (in spanish then swithched to English) "where are you from?", "Kuwait" I said, he was amazed and said "Ku-white!! muy lejo!" (that's how spanish speakers pronouce Kuwait & muy lejo means: very far).

My next destination was the best part of my brief visit. My colleague's brother-in-law is a Lebanese Chilean, his father invited me to their home to spend the night.

The family was very hospitable. I was introduced to Monseñor Sergios Abad who happened to be one of the founders of the orthodox church in Kuwait in the 1960s. Also their relatives from Brasil (Lebanese as well) were there.

We talked about Latin america, Lebanon, religion, Pinochet, Chavez, Gebran, the arab intellectuals in diaspora, and the monseñor's meeting with the late Education Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jaber, to obtain a license for the church's kindergatern.
We had lebanese treats like: makdoos, bastirma (pastrami) n2oolat (nuts) and tortilla with mtabbal. I couldn't help remembering Dr Ahmed Al-Rubei when the monseñor, while talking about women, quoted Al-Mutanabbi's eulogistic poem on the mother of Saif Al-Dawla:
و لو كان النساء كمن فقدنا - لفضلت النساء على الرجال

You can check this video (youtube) where my host is reading a prayer in the Orthodox Church of Santiago, accompanied -among others- by his two sons:


The next day I returned to Buenos Aires to spend my last three nights in this fine city.

3 comments:

EXzombie said...

did you witness any Inca ruins.....?!

and we need more pics

I was told Pisco is famous there

kila ma6goog said...

متى بتسير علينا؟

Arfana said...

و بعدين معاك؟