Monday, October 6, 2008
10 Unrelated, Odd Things
1) On Wednesday nights, I walk to my poetry class in the Art school at the end of a short street in Viña. This week I noticed a life-size pickup truck made entirely of cardboard parallel parked in a row of normal cars on the street. I assume it’s an art project.
2) My host dad and the food he aquires: the family and I are currently working on finishing a wheel of artesan goat cheese that he drove an hour or more into the country to get, and which I estimate weighs at least 10 lbs. He also got a giant bag of at least 100 avocados for really cheap somewhere (I just found out that half an avocado has 22% of your DV of fat, oops!! That’s a lot for a fruit!! That also must be why they’re so delicious).
3) I saw my television journalism professor on UCV channel 18 one night this week, and I didn’t even realize he actually did reporting. My favorite was hearing the report about the vice presidential debate because of the way he pronounced “Sarah Palin” and “Joe Biden.”
4) The spanish translation of the title of the movie “Lost in Translation” is “Perdidos en Tokio”.
5) For our Spanish class, which is all people from our program, we have to make a video using Chilean spanish. Ours is like the Frog Prince, but with a dog instead of a frog, because we’re using the cultural fact that there are lots of dogs in streets. So we found a friendly dog and taped some interactions with him that we’re going to edit into a coherent movie, hopefully. We got some weird looks from Chileans when we were taping each other talking to a stray dog!
6) In my poetry class with Chileans, our readings so far have included Ezra Pound, Italo Calvino, Charles Baudelaire, and T.S. Eliot, all in Spanish. It’s difficult and kind of strange, but probably my favorite class—especially because the professor gets REALLY excited about what he’s saying.
7) When my host parents explain something to me, they like to use whatever may be on the table as props, like tonight they were telling me how when they were little they would buy watermelons at fruit stands in the countryside, and the people selling them would cut a triangle out of it and let you taste it to see if it was good before you bought it. My host mom used a tub of margarine to stand in for the watermelon and then my host dad explained it to me again using a roll of paper towels—they do a good job making sure I understand what they’re talking about :)
8) Often, when I tell a Chilean that my name is Hannah, they’ll look confused for a second and then say, “Ah, Hannah Montana.” This happens more frequently with the 10 to 13-year-olds at my school placement, but not infrequently with people my age and older!
9) In my TV journalism class, there are three exchange students: me, a girls from France and a girl from Germany. One week we had to make a short video with a plot, and the three of us were in a group with four Chileans. Our storyline was that these three foreign students are wandering around looking for the journalism school. We ask three Chilean students in French, German and English, “Where’s the journalism university?” Two of them look confused, but one guy understands the word “University” which is similar in all 4 languages, and he leads there (and gets the gringas). It was ridiculous and fun. The plaza is called Miraflores, which literally means Lookflowers, so we called it “Lost in Miraflowers.”
10) The only thing I can think of for a 10th is that on Saturday I went with American friends to a tapas restaurant for our friend’s birthday, and one thing we got was called Chorrillana: a huge plate of french fries topped with slices of beef and scrambled quail eggs. I don’t know if this is Chilean but it is certainly delicious.
The picture is of a fountain in Viña by the ocean.