Sky as a Kite

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Still here

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Erin is gone and I should have time now to write more posts, but I have been knitting diligently as I was close to running out of gloves to sell. (Un)fortunately when I set down my stall today the just finished gloves where ripped out of my hands, which means a) I had money for a nice bottle of wine and b) that I spent another evening knitting. Anyway, tomorrow I should finally release a beta version of version2 of the blog *proud*, and sometime this week there will be posts on the travel blog about Erin's and my journey, highlights include us sitting in a wooden boat on the pacific with Orcas playing around us and me not throwing up.

I'm currently all alone in the flat , yesterday the guy who always randomly shows up showed up to clean the apartment as someone was coming to look at a room, but they didn't. But I have a clean kitchen now, so no complains. Sra Luz also happened across my small and beloved electric heater, which means now there is a paper with house rules on the wall forbidding the use of electric heaters, which I make a point of ignoring.
There is still the possibility of Spiderman becoming my new flatmate.

A phone call for lessons

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The other day I got a phone call, a person asking for lessons. I was very exited, maybe my first German student, ever! The conversation was difficult, there seemed to be several things lost in translation, I finally asked him when he would like to start and he said right away. I was a bit confused and asked if he were anywhere close to Cerro Alegre, which seemed to confuse him. He asked where I was based and I named Cerro Alegre again, then my street, then the name of the plaza at the end of my street. He seemed to not know any of them, which is a bit weird as they are well known places in Valparaiso. We spent a few minutes being confused with each other, until he thought of asking me in which town I live. I said Valpo, he lives in Atacama desert. Strange. Even stranger was that he was not calling for German lessons at all. He seemed to be as confused about the whole thing as I was, therefore I don't think it was a prank on his side. Is someone using my phone number for questionable purposes? Did he miss-dial? I did distribute my phone number in Valpo when I advertised for German lessons, it is also available on the internet, but this is the only call I have gotten. Now I decided to keep my phone number open on my blog, just to see what might happen...
Posted on - Categories: Valpo

The city of sleeping dogs

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One of my fellow street vendors decided to adopt the pretty Labrador, which hangs around at the plaza today.
The city is full of strays, mostly male ones. They are not castrated so the gender is fairly easy to observe. A friendly bunch, they are liked by the human inhabitants of the city, who sometimes feed them (there are stores here solely dedicated to pet food, in one lives a cat, who always gives me this look when I walk past "I live in heaven, where do YOU live?", but this post is supposed to be about dogs...) and tolerate them lying in the oddest places.
This is how they spend most of their days, sleeping in sunny spots, sometimes in the middle of a busy sidewalk oblivious to everyone around them. One of the running gags of the street vendors is to place a "to sell" sign on the dog sleeping next to their stand. Very zen.
But it is not an easy life. I saw a dog japping and scratching himself, because he was tortured by flees, another lost looking fellow standing in the entrance of the supermarket, shivering in the cold. The dogs sitting around my bread stand looking at me with big sad eyes are probably also not there, because they have a special affinity for German bread.
But one of them has a warm spot to sleep tonight and a human to feed and cuddle him. Lucky chap.
Posted on - Categories: Valpo


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Before I write this post I have to make it clear, that this is not a serious analysis of Shannons character, but rather a documentation of several jokes and made-up/exaggerated stories, which form the basis of the humour in this house, because we all agree that reality should not be in the way of a good story.

Today, on the way to the kitchen for a coffee, I was informed by Shannon that the toilet was clogged. Of course we have no plunger, just as it has never occurred to us to get a screwdriver or any other useful tool. But I haven't been a student/nomad/disorganised person for 30+ years without having learned a trick or two.
I picked up one empty plastic bottle (two liters is a good size for these kind of operation) and a pair of gloves, stuck the bottle down the drain and started squeezing. At this point I felt thankful for having gloves because shit (literally) did come out of drain.
Unfortunately gloves do not protect one from the inevitable splashing in this procedure. Despite the ... release... of bits and the resulting color change of the water the toilet remained clogged. At this point, Shannon had a look and remarked that this might be one of hers.
This was when I started to get suspicious. Shannon does have a strange fascination with having people interact with her , emmm, products. Jill (who has been friends with her since childhood and has traveled extensively with her) did storm out of her room in alarm one day when Shannon wanted to show me "something" in the bathroom. She wanted to save me from possible trauma, but it turned out Shannon had bought flowers. Before she was there to protect me we did have one (slightly influenced by alcohol) discussion about the visual effects of peeing on one of the many steep roads in Valpo.
Anyway, after some "work" with the bottle I made the mistake to think there might be improvement and flushed. The toilet filled up to the brim with smelly brown water. After some desperate laughter Shannon went to buy a plunger (I think that was a small confession) and I went to ladling the water out of the toilet with an old wine bottle (good that there is an abundance of old bottles in our house). I had reduced it to an "not in danger of overflowing" amount when she came back and we had our toiled unclogged 3 seconds later. The bathroom got a throughout bleach treatment.

Conclusion: buy a plunger, don't try the plastic bottle method unless you are a true masochist.

Why did I make this experience into a blog post? Passing on the trauma!

Posted on - Categories: Valpo

The last two nights this happened:

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Santiago, Chile, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) 

A quake of lesser intensity measuring 4.5 degrees on the Richter scale was recorded
today in the central Chile, but authorities
have not reported damage or victims so far.

According to the Seismological Service of the
University of Chile, the earthquake was
recorded at 02:40 local time and was felt most
strongly in the Valparaiso Region.

The epicenter was located 38 kilometers north
of Quillota and 27.2 kilometers deep.

Hope this will not be a nightly occurance...
Posted on - Categories: Valpo

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