Chile

An excerpt from my travels in South America.

“Next I stumbled over the my main destination, el Mercado Central. All you really need to know about el Mercado is FISH. I took so many pictures of fish, as you may have noticed. I think people thought I was crazy. The best thing about my Spanish being rusty is that it’s really easy to ignore people (restaurant people) hassling you. As a tourist, I was in great demand. They wanted ME (and everyone else) to come to their restaurant. I feel so special. I think I overheard some people debating if I was Chilean, although it could have been them affirming I definitely wasn’t, but I’ll pretend it’s the former. I eventually chose one of the tucked away seafood places, and ordered ceviche para llevar, because well, eating there seemed overwhelming and ceviche was the only thing I knew.

I of course, forgot to ask for a utensil, and forgot the word for spoon (I have since remembered), so I found an ice cream place in the HUGE Centro mall (oh my god Chileans love malls), and stole a tiny ice cream spoon. And that’s how I ended up sitting in the Plaza de Armas eating ceviche with a tiny spoon and looking crazy (partly because eating ceviche when it’s so cold seems silly). But damn, it was good ceviche. Simple, and refreshing, and just the right about of crunch and lime.”

“I decided that the area was kind of depressing and took the metro the Vega Central.

Best decision of my life! I stepped into the magical market world. The smell!! Freshness. This was definitely one of my favorite things here. It was enormous and so easy to get lost among the leafy greens, grains, roots, citrus, and more. Local vendors crowded the space and it was everything I wanted a market to be.

There I had perhaps the most simple but most delicious meal I had so far. Un churrasco solo and jugo de piña. The sandwich was just bread and the tender amazing meat, and I put on it a delicious spicy sauce. It was perfect and tender. The juice was sweet, thick, and refreshing. And it only amounted to less than $5 total.”

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