The Sludge

It’s been a good first week at the institute. I expected to hate the schedule, but it actually works out really well. I get a huge time gap in the middle of the day to go explore (and try as many coffee shops as I can). Plus, I get Friday afternoon off as well.

So, I went to the institute in the morning and then bee bopped around during the afternoon. I ended up searching for an empanada place because my packed lunch was subpar that day. 

Our host families pack us lunch everyday, but a lot of the people in my program have had issues with their lunches. Like, they can’t identify what it is, there’s not enough food, there’s way too much food, or it just tastes really bad. My lunches, on the other hand, have always been superb. I have been the winner of the best lunch almost every day because mi familia chilena is the best. Obvio. But, I got to experience the bad lunch phenomenon this week.

So, here comes the story of “The Sludge.”

I honestly have no idea what the strange substance in the Tupperware container was. Whatever image comes to your head when you hear “The Sludge” is probably a very accurate depiction of this food, so I’m going to spare you the details. Anyway, I tried a little bit of it, but couldn’t bring myself to eat the rest, so I just closed the container and put The Sludge back in the lunch box for me to deal with later.

Well, later me and Annie went shopping in Viña and I had all my stuff with me. I knew I needed to get rid of that Sludge so it didn’t spill everywhere and to hide the fact that I didn’t eat it from my dear family, but there was no good place to ditch it. So, I carried around the Sludge all day. (Side note: I told Annie about the Sludge and she asked if I had blogged about it yet, so I blogged about it just for her.)

On my way home, I finally found a place to ditch the Sludge, but when I went to dump it out, it spilled all over my lunchbox and me. I guess that’s karma for being a snob. After all, beggars can’t be choosers…

On a less gross note, me and Annie went to the beach in Viña to look at the artisan stands and walk along the boardwalk. 

On our stroll down the Boardwalk, we ran into some gypsies. They immediately started asking us for money. Annie, who is too polite for her own good, humored them a little bit. My strategy was to just pretend like I didn’t speak Spanish, so they would leave us alone. They didn’t. They proceeded to try to scam us with the “rosemary trick.” (Google it, it’s a thing).

They try to put rosemary/herbs/a flower in your hand, then while you’re distracted they pickpocket you or they try to force you to pay them for the rosemary/herb/flower. One of them tried this with me and I knew what they were trying to do immediately, so I clenched my fist really hard and told her sternly “no gracias.” She glared at me. Another woman was doing the same with Annie, but Annie was being polite and was going to let this happen. So, I just grabbed Annie by the arm and started walking. We’re not getting scammed on my watch. No sir. 

After that, our night was pretty mellow. We bought souvenirs/gifts for people back home, ate more empanadas (I ate empanadas for every meal that day and I’m not ashamed…), And got ice cream too. 

*Exscuse my gross hair*

Stay tuned for more adventures of BatmAnnie and Robyn.

-Robyn

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