26 March 2011


Did I mention that my mom is on Twitter? She has to be for her job. I doubt having reporters twitter is going to save small town daily newspapers, but they're giving it a try. Her account is a mix of plugs for the paper, pop culture references, the conditions she encountered on her morning run, and - while I was gone - updates on my trip to Chile. Before I left, the last tweet of hers I read was:
Pray for great weather and safe sociopolitical conditions in Chile -- my daughter flies there tomorrow for two weeks!
She should have prayed for no tsunamis, although I was in a mountain region and not really under threat from rogue waves. It was more likely that I would have been killed by the volcano than the ocean.

When I went to Scotland last year, I wrote about each day. I'm not going to do that with this trip. Five of those days were conference talks and I could try to recap them for you, but unless you're a zoop geek, it would be way more boring than my usual posts.Instead I'm just going to focus on aspects of my trip, and see how long I can drag that out for.

I spent the last two weeks in Pucon, Chile. Getting there wasn't easy, per se. I flew from Hali to Toronto (2h), from Toronto to Santiago (10.5h), from Santiago to Temuco (1.5h), then took a bus from Temuco to Pucon (1.5h). And, even after all that travel I only made it to 39 degrees south latitude, which means I've still been further North than I have South.

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The first thing I'll share with you is Chilean money, which is colourful like our money and has tons of  coins like our money too, ranging from 5 to 500 pesos. The larger denomination bills reminded me of Australian money. Unlike our money, their money exists in crazy large denominations. It wasn't unusual to spend 10,000 CP (Chilean pesos) on dinner.

I got to know one of the Chilean scientists at the conference, and us about the people on the 5000, and 10000 bills. On the 5000 is Chile's only Nobel prize winner (I think only), and rumoured lesbian Gabriela Mistral. On the 10000 is a Chilean military hero. Apparently in the one war Chile fought in, he lead the Navy in an attack that ended in crushing defeat. But they honour him anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wanted to point out a typo, not to be a jerk but because it's both hilarious and relevant. You say you were "... not really under treat from rogue waves" and then later you point out the 10,000 CP bill has a naval hero who led an attack that ended "in crushing defeat".

And so I wonder: did he lose the battle because he tried to treat with rogue waves? Because those waves are notoriously unreliable, as they lack all sense of gentlemanly dignity (perhaps due, in part, to their lack of facial hair and top hats). In retrospect, Prat should never have trusted them.

- Oz