Saturday, September 22, 2012

210912 BLOK

210912 BLOK
Poor workers of the world, unite!  Get smarter!  Get together, organize, there's strength in numbers!  Stop consuming and you will bring the system to its knees!
Do without, live off the grid, and out of the Malls!  Wake up!  You're being exploited by the 01%.
We represent the 'New Union Day,' for workers… This has to do with consciousness, integrity, and trust!   There are no $ dues, only shoes for your poor children who need them!  Get smarter and unite!  The 'New Union Day' is coming!
I'm in Arica, Chile, the first evening (arrived at 1730 hours / 5:30P.M., at Hostal at 6:30P.M., a restaurant by 7P.M. (mucho hambre).
After a 10-hour bus ride, some of it scary, I'm happy to stop.  Parts of the highway a little scary because this model bus ('Semi Camas), a 'doubledecker' kinda lumbers, swaying back and forth -- and if we lose it, we'd roll over the edge and down a steep embankment for a kilometer (dead at the bottom)! 
All the way, from Iquique to Arica (some 700KM), it's the most barren landscape I've seen in the world.  Nothing but brown sand hills, with not a blade of grass growing.  I love such, however!  I'm also concerned because I didn't get baggage tags in Calama, and am wondering if that will be a problem.  
We stop at an 'Aduana,'  a Chileno police checkpoint, and we have to show our passports.  I thought this interesting… They must be looking for someone…?  Why check IDs within a country?  My passport is returned, and there's no problem with my luggage when we finally arrive at the Arica Terminal, right on time (5:30 P.M.).  
I put Mr Fetes together again, load, and head out for the Hostal (with Google directions).  Google, turns out to be close, but no cigar.  I have to stop and ask people where Sotomayor (the street) is located.  Finally, I'm happy to find it.
I check into Jardin Del Sol, Hostal, and it turns out to be the best so far in all of my Chile.  It's operated by a Chileno named Carlos, an older guy serious about making this place a success.  Clean, organized, with much information, it's truly a 'find,' if ever in Arica, Chile.  I certainly can recommend this Hostal, even at first glance.
I'm advised to go to a restaurant on Calle 21 de Mayo, a short walk.  It's called, eh… Don't worry, I'll get the name as turns out to be unusually good.  But, when I first arrive there at 1900 hours (7P.M.) I'm greeted by a white-haired gentleman named Jose.  Jose has not-so-good news as it's not open until 2000 hours (8P.M.).  Everything is later in Chile:  little breakfast later, lunch between 2 and 3P.M. and dinner at 8P.M. (very European).  I tell him I will return for Salmon.  
I walk down 21 de Mayo, which turns into a commercial walking street, Friday evening crowed with people -- it's very lively!  I walk all the way down to the harbor and am suddenly impressed with Arica, much more sophisticated than Calama.  Calama a workers town, Arica, a port, with international influence, much more diverse in terms of culture.
When I show up back at the restaurant, I'm the first at 8P.M., Jose, in a black bow tie, is happy to see me.  I'm seated in the 'Area de no fumadores!'  I order Salmon, with a salad.  Jose, an older, experienced (professional) waiter can't do enough for me.  The place feels European, old fashion.  A trumpet solo plays on the speakers, reminding me of the 1930s, for some reason.  The table is with white cloth, linen napkins, butter (mantiquilla in Spanish) no less, and an empty cup for olive pits.  I thinking… this is going to be expensive.  I eat the white bread, just to taste the butter.
Soon an older man (more white hair) is seated next to me with a much younger woman.  I'm sure this is father and daughter time, a serious discussion about something.  Or, maybe they're just getting together after an absence…?   Although they don't talk much.  I'm curious. 
Across from me, a lone male diner, which is unusual (in countries like Chile and/or China).  I'm thinking he must be European.  After he departs I notice the waiters laughing at something he did or didn't do.  Maybe his Spanish speaking wasn't so good… 
My salad arrives first and I set away because I eat salad last, not first.  
They skin tomatos in restaurants in Chile, and it seems to make them better tasting.  How does one skin a tomato, maybe in boiling water…?  
My salmon arrives with two boiled potatoes.  All of it is wonderful, even the apple crepe for dessert.
I find out from Jose, they've been in this location for 25 years!  He's worked there for 20 years!  No wonder it feels old fashion.   The total cost of the meal, with agua de mineral, sin gas, is $20U.S.  I leave a large tip (propina) for Jose.  Departing I tell him (he speaks a little English) that I will return!  He smiles!


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