December 22, 2008

Back to nature

On Sunday me and Danilo went to discover our long lost roots to the nature.... in Viña del Mar, a commercial, hotels-by-the-beach city next to Valpo. But the good thing about Viña is that you can actually find a spot of nature there. It was great. The birds were singing, I could smell the grass, the soil, the trees.

First we stopped at a park. Danilo went to collect small stones so we could play a game.

Then a moment of exercise and exhaustion shot by Danilo.

From the park we climbed to a forest nearby. We found all kinds of interesting things there: cactuses, plants, a mysterious gate and even a Christmas tree for our house. I carried it in my bag. Danilo said it's the perfect example of a lady's purse, you can find everything there - even a xmas tree.

After the adventure in the forest we returned to the park. We sat under a jakaranda tree, ate sandwiches and drank juice. Then we played baseball and football with a ball made of a tinfoil to the amusement of the numeral lovebirds gathered on different parts of the park to cuddle with their mates.

Then we went by the sea. Yesterday the sun was up the longest of the whole year and it sure did feel like it too.

Hip hop, dogs and drawings

On Friday we went to see a free rap/break dance show at Plaza Anibal Pinto. The rap was kinda boring and the break dance was sorta ordinary so instead we hanged out with the dogs and Nico drew us on the back of the copy of my passport.

December 15, 2008

Sunset on Saturday

Sunday was all about capoeira...

...and a bit of makulele!

Most of my friends here are capoeristas. Their group is called Capoeira Sul Da Bahia (de Valparaíso/Viña del Mar). I've ended up spending a lot of time around capoeira. I've even learned to play berimbau. Back in Finland I also have many friends that play capoeira, it's funny how capoeira has become quite a big part of my life even though I don't practice it myself.
Sul Da Bahia had their annual batizado and change of belts yesterday. In order to upgrade their belt they had to play against the mestre. My friends did well, I'm so proud of them.

December 12, 2008

Hot stuff

Here in Chile we have a bit different types of problems. The article above (published in Publimetro Dec5 2008) tells about how Santas have to put up with the heat of the summer in their thick santa costumes. They are asking if the Santas in the south could rebel against the norm and wear a similar outfit of red and white but in a form of t-shirt and shorts. The answer is no because apparently the Santa would lose its "magic"?! Well, I don't know about the magic but it might be a bit weird to sit on Santa's lap and feel your legs brush up against his hairy legs..

It's actually kinda twisted that all the Christmas decorations here are straight from the snowy winter wonderland while in reality people are wet from sweat, not slush. And some people here have a tendency to go a bit overboard with the decorating. I'm just saying that it is not necessary to have your whole balcony covered with colorful blinking xmas lights. I wonder if there's a peak in epilepsy cases around December.

Another article in the same paper: "The question is: with or without underwear?" It deals with the Finnish Independence day celebration and how this year the most important question is whether the people who go to the President's party will wear underpants or no, because apparently it gets so hot in there. Oh well, if the Chilenos have to know something about Finland it might as well be about the sweaty asses of the elite, right? Oh dear.

December 11, 2008


I thought maybe I should tell you more about the place I live. The name is Valparaíso. You all can google, right, so I won't go on telling about stuff you can read from wikipedia. Instead I will tell you something else.

Sounds of Valparaíso.
The stuff that always reminds me where I am eventho in my mind I might be six million kms from here.

1. barking dogs
There are thousands (?) of street dogs in Valpo. The dogs have a prominent role here. They own the city. If a dog wants to lie down in the middle of a sidewalk during rush hour, it will do so and the people just have figure out how to keep on walking. The dogs are nice to people. Or maybe more like neutral, they don't bother you if you don't bother them. Fair deal. They only bark at each other and sometimes cars. You can always hear a few of them bark somewhere. Especially at nights, when the city gets quieter, there's less traffic, less people but the dogs never stop. I like them. But I don't touch them. Fleas I don't like.

2. reggaeton
What can I say? It's everywhere. Boom chiki boom chiki boom chiki boom 'til infinity. Like my friend Kenan said: How can something so horrible come out of something so beautiful as reggae? Good question Kenan.

3. gas trucks
If you wanna buy gas just be alert when you hear a strong rhythmical kling-klong sound. That's the gas truck. One of the guys sits in the back of the truck and uses one of the gas bottles as a drum. They are not too bad. It's nice cause you only hear it for a minute or two maybe a couple times a day. But it must be a bitch to work in the truck.

4. car alarms
Don't know what the deal is with them here but it's an everyday thing to hear them. And it's always the annoying one with 4 different tones. Like in this weird video, at around 0.56.

Dear Santa

I'd like a film camera.

I really miss the excitement, the surprise, and that you have to shoot at a carefully chosen moment. Digital cameras can really suppress your creativity and your ability to trust in your own judgement. I don't necessarily want to have the option to shoot 10 times in the same place just to make sure the picture comes out perfectly. I have a Minolta back in Finland but didn't take it with me. It's too heavy to carry, I wouldn't use it anyway - I thought. Now I regret it.

December 10, 2008

The Dunes - Las Dunas - Dyynit

On Monday we went to the dunes between Reñaca and Concón. It was a steaming hot day and the sand almost burned our feet. - El lunes estuvimos en las dunas cerca de Reñaca y Concón. ¡Hizo demasiado calor! - Maanantaina olimme hiekkadyyneillä Reñacan ja Concónin lähellä. Oli kuuma päivä ja vielä kuumempi hiekka!

December 7, 2008


Preparing and eating Chilean and Finnish goods, making Christmas decorations and finishing the night with a bbq in Viña.

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