“There is a very interesting story behind the chilean flag. There was a very clever man. He was a taylor. He didn’t earn much money but he had a good idea. In fact he was very poor so he decided to make a new chilean flag so he came up with the design amd put it outside his taylor shop. He made a big sign announcing that this was the new chilean flag, and said the politicans had approved it, so many people adopted it as the flag. When the government were looking for a flag for the new chile so many people had adopted this flag that they made it the new one.
The blue of the flag represents the sea and the sky. The red represents the blood shed for a new Chile. And the star of the flag represents the people united under one rule, and their equality as one people of Chile. But this is stupid, there are many different people in Chile and there is much inequality.”
“The Mapuche women is a symbol for Chile. They built our country. They built our houses, invented all our favourite dishes, made all of Chiles clothes, and brought up the children. The only function of the men in chile for many years was to fight to protect the women. Most high positions in Chile are held by women. We have a female president, a female mayor in Santiago, and many female ceos. This is why the Mapuche women is a symbol for our country.”
“This is a building for Santiagos famous social club. Nobody knows anything about this social club, or what happens inside it. The, members are all the most powerful people in chile, many of them owners of large corporations. I do not know what happens inside this building. I think they should invite me.”
“This is the presidents office but she doesn’t live there. It’s very strange. When a politician becomes president they don’t have to change house, and this can change the whole neighbourhood. You can be a normal person and then become the neighbour of the president. My friend lives in the neighbourhood of the president and it is very difficult to visit him. They are special agents on every corner who stop you to ask what you are doing there, and always helicopters flying overhead.”
“When it rains in Santiago the whole city turns to chaos. There are many traffic jams, the sewage system collapses, and it is on the local news. The sewage system is not built to drain the rain away properly. Rain is very rare in Santiago. We only have approximately 3 weeks rain here per year.”
“We have a really popular tradition here in Santiago. Its called coffee with legs.
Many years ago, as we don’t grow coffee in this country, we could only serve instant coffee. So one man came up with an idea to increase sales. A nice girl would serve you coffee and have a chat to you in the coffee shop. It became very popular so other’s opened and coffee shops where girls served coffee in short skirts, and then others where the servers would wear bikinis. Finally, a man nicknamed ‘the red baron’ opened a chain of coffee shops in Santiago. He invented something called ‘the happy minute’, where at any minute in the day the manager would lock the doors of the coffee shop and the girls would take their clothes off for one minute and dance on the tables. Just for one minute. The manager would decide at random what time.
The red baron coffee shops no longer exist in Santiago, but some coffee shops still do the happy minute. There has been a battle to keep these coffee shops. They have had to agree some strict terms. Now you are only allowed coffee with legs cafes in the business district, and only open them between the business hours of 9 and 6. If you get caught serving alchohol you will be shut down. Many have been shut down for this reason.
These shops are not popular with women. Many have had big competition with other chains, and have a huge threat from companies like starbucks. To encourage women to go there , they now often serve women in these coffee shops with free cake. Female customers now get treated very well in coffee with legs cafes.”
“This is the house of the poet Neruda. He was a very eccentric man. He originally built it only for his mistress until she became his wife, and he moved in with her. He liked the concept of an open house. Anyone could turn up, and as long as they brought a gift they could sleep, eat, drink and hang out there. After Neruda died it was turned into a museum so we could have people passing through it always. We could not have the house of Neruda without people.”
“This is the most controversial statue in Santiago. It is the statue of the ex chilean president Allende. Every year, on the 11th of September, there is much trouble here. This is because on the 11th of September 1973, this was the day when the military arrived to evict president Allende from the presidential building, and broke in to find he had committed suicide. Some Chileans hug, and some Chileans spit at this statue. The 11th of September is still always a very strange day.”
“New books in Santiago are very expensive. A new 300 page novel will cost around $40. For this reason people only buy second hand books in Chile. To buy new books is too expensive. The government add a 19% tax to each new book sold. But not many people read in Chile. There was a time when the printers were all destroyed. So Chilean people got out of the habit of reading.”
“We saw this huge man, 1.9 metres tall. With an immensely strong body, physically fit like a 21 year old athlete that could never die. Over time his rasping breath became deeper and horser. And each time the chain struck him. His head, his legs, his body. It made a more and more quiet, dead sound, as it gradually broke his body.”
Disclaimer: These are quotes taken from people in and around Santiago and may not be factually or historically correct
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