Living la Vida Loca

I know it’s a lame title, but I couldn’t possibly keep a blog in Latin America without using it at least once.

After a weekend of searching, I am pleased to say that I have found a place to live!  It is located in Providencia, the area of town that was far and away my first choice.  The apartment is close to a metro station, and lots of nightlife.  The apartment itself is pretty nice–OK by U.S. standards, but way better than some of the other apartments I’ve seen here.  My room has access to an outdoor terrace where I can watch people walk by down below and get some semi-fresh air.  I will post pictures one I get a chance to move in, which will probably be tomorrow.

In the meantime, here is a brief update on my activities so far:

Barrio Bella Vista. AKA, where the action's at.

Barrio Bella Vista. AKA, where the action's at.

A few nights ago I went out to experience Chilean nightlife at its best–in the neighborhood called Bella Vista.  Bella Vista is probably one of, if not the hub of activity here in Santiago.  To give you an idea, it is a neighborhood that consists solely of brightly-painted bars, discotecas and restaurants. Every weekend it is absolutely packed with people and interesting things to do. I went with a couple exchange friends, where we promptly met a large group of other Americans from Notre Dame (woot woot!) who are also here as exchange students.  We all decided to navigate the craziness together, finally settling upon a discoteca in which to enter.  To give you an idea of how Chilean nightlife works, our group of about ten people went into this club, and in doing so probably doubled the number of people inside.  That was at 2am.  The clubs here don’t even get busy until 3am or later.  Quite a different schedule than I’m used to all the way around, but I’m not complaining.

Since then, I have spent approximately 8 hours walking around Santiago looking at various apartments, following leads, etc.  Today was the lucky day, as this morning we finally found the right place.  And the best part?  It’s 5 minutes away from Bella Vista.

Today was the first day of classes for the PUC.  I didn’t have any classes today, but tomorrow the locura really begins (as if it hadn’t already).  I found choosing classes to take quite the challenge.  There’s no shortage of interesting classes, the only problem is that I’ve already taken the equivalent for most of them.  The classes I have left to take are either not offered here, or are classes that I don’t want to attempt due to their intensly quantative nature.  (Taking classes in a different language is a challenge, taking math and science classes in a different language torture.) After hours spent studying the course catelog, I think I have finally settled upon a few classes to take.  I am nervous, as I still feel that people here speak lightning fast and with lots of vocab I’m not familliar with.  But I guess that’s all part of the experience, eh?

Luckily this week is only three days long–two for me, since I didn’t have class today.  The reason is because a new president is assuming office on Thursday, so everyone here just decided to take Thursday and Friday off.  No complaints here.  I don’t think I could have chosen a more interesting time to be in Chile if I tried. Go figure…for once, I feel like I’m exactly in the center of the action, all the way around.