Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A special greeting to all my readers on the northern hemisphere.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

There's a new bus in town

Designed in Sweden
built in Brazil
deployed in Santiago.
Their destination?

This is more or less how I felt when I first saw them. The bus drivers' pride was unmistakable as they test drove the new vehicles around the capital during this last month.
The electronic sign on the front simply read CHILE 2005.

They are white and green, low and fairly silent. To anyone in Europe this may not sound like such big news, but to the South American continent they are a novelty.
If you consider the bus fleet to be a good indicator of a city's level of development, then this is a mayor boost for the Chilean capital.
The drivers of the old buses are not too happy though, as they rightfully see the new buses as a threatening alternative to their noisy, uncomfortable transports. They are not keen to give way and announced they would go on strike for a full day. Most bus-riders don't have cars, so this would mean severe complications for them. Luckily, a good part of the bus lines didn't obey the strike, showing the once strong "mafia" is steadily losing it's force.
One person that will definitely celebrate today is Patricia, who has little less than declared open war on the "nice" bus drivers.
Patty, congratulations, you won!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Andy Warhol in Santiago

Last night, everything was pop.
My friend Macarena had invited me and Bernardita to attend to the opening of an Andy Warhol (or Andrew Warhola as his name was originally) exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts. It consisted of prints, photographs and film. Oh, and the fine deserts he concieved, recreated by students of Ecole Francaise Culinaire. Foolishly, I missed to snap a photo of them but they sure didn't look tasty. The culinary approach was broadened with all kinds of alternative cocktail snacks, which were outlined in detail by the chef in the opening speech. While the other speakers - a bank official, the museum director and some others had laid out the meaning of Warhol's work and his motivation, the chef wetted our lips describing what part of the exhibit was eatable and what wasn't, receiving the most enthusiastic applause.
By the way, we never saw any snacks, they were devoured rapidly by the masses. The frenzy for free food was so great that a guy picked up a 75 %-eaten sandwich, removed it's wrinkly napkin wrapping and consumed it, enjoying the refined cultural ambient.
Later, we moved on to my cousin Tomás' birthday/screen workshop inauguration party. He and his pal Diego are entering the screen business. Lots of people showed up and it was a lot of fun.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bicycling on a birthday

Today was the first really hot day of spring. With 25º, it was a welcomed hint of what is to come.
My uncle Luchin and cousin Juan Pablo swung by on their fashionable Husqvarna bikes and I hooked up on a less elegant mountain bike. Yes, that's right, they are the proud owners and care takers of these vintage bicycles, who were brought from Sweden by my grandfather in the 50's. They cherish them, repairing every failing detail with equal care and concern.

We laid the route to a nearby park, where young and old people dreamt themselves away, watching the sky, pressing lips to lips... There was an aviary where we spotted a rather large bird, obviously flightless. "It has the aerodynamic properties of a vertical piano", noted Luchin. How it had managed to reach a branch some two meters from the ground remained a mystery.
After this twin-wheeled escapade we went to celebrate my cousin Andrés' 18th birthday, enjoying cakes and familiar company.