BootsnAll Travel Network

Articles Tagged ‘Viña del Mar’

More articles about ‘Viña del Mar’
« Home

Ceferino Ceferino Ceferino

Friday, December 9th, 2005

8 December 2005 (Thursday) – Viña del Mar, Chile

Today is a public holiday and so Jessica did not have to go to work and was free to show me around. She drove me to Concon and we stopped by Playa Amarilla for a while. The sun was really strong, and the wind was not crazy like in La Serena, so we spent some time basking on the beach. Very nice…

Basking under the sun

Then, she spun me around Reñaca and Viña del Mar, showing me all the posh condominiums and lovely apartments. Gosh, everything looked really nice and modern here. I was curious how much an apartment facing the coasts cost. Perhaps about US$400,000. About the price of private apartments in Singapore, I think, but WITH the amazing view!

Apartments built on the side of the hills that stretch right to the coast

The coastline alternates between rocky outcrops and small sandy beaches. People were cycling and jogging along the coastal road. It was just absolutely lovely. I craned my neck and looked everywhere, searching for the perfect apartment. Ahem, who knows… one day, I may be able to live in one. Jessica and I decided we would post classifieds – “Busco Viejo Rico Para Casarse” (I Am Looking for A Rich Old Man to Marry).

A house built right at the rocky coast... what a location!

Stunning coastline of Vina del Mar

With Jessica

In the evening, as it is a public holiday and it is the day after Fabiola’s birthday, the family gathered for an asado. Ah, great meat has arrived even before I left for Argentina. As the family enjoyed the usual bantar and constantly laughed at my puzzled face whenever Enrique tried to talk to me (He was the worst! I did not understand ONE word from him at all. We were better off speaking French!). Still, when they remembered my presence, they tried their best to moderate their speech for me, I know.

Later, 2 jolly aunts of Jessica arrived to join the party – Aunt Maria-Lilias and Aunt Suli. According to them, Aunt Maria-Lilias is the family witch. My eyes lit up! Wow, if I learnt anything about myself on this trip, I learnt that I want to learn how to be a witch. I felt an instant affinity with her. She too seemed quite taken with me.

She showed us a way to get our questions answered. She needed a white, black or red roll of cloth. Jessica gave her a long sheet of white toilet paper. Well, that would do. She folded the toilet paper into half and put a match-stick inside the folded end. I was absolutely sure it was in between the fold. Then, she rolled the entire toilet paper. You have to hold it in your right hand and chant, “Ceferino, Ceferino, Ceferino” to call this young Indian boy from Argentina Patagonia… some legend, she said, and ask your question in your head. If the answer is ‘no’, the match-stick remains INSIDE the fold. If ‘yes’, the match-stick will appear OUTSIDE the fold when you unroll the paper/cloth.

Kathya tried. We unrolled the toilet-paper and the match-stick remained inside – a ‘no’. I tried. For mine, the match-stick magically appeared OUTSIDE the fold – a ‘YES’!!!. I was absolutely stunned. I could not figure out how the match-stick could appear outside. Must be magic! Jessica’s answer was a ‘yes’ as well and for Kathya’s second question… sigh, it was a ‘no’ again.

I need to learn some witchcraft, I tell you.

To Viña del Mar

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

6 December 2005 (Tuesday) – La Serena to Viña del Mar, Chile

Claudio had again gone to town to try and wrestle his money back. Well, there is really nothing much to eat at home now. If the payment was delayed one more day, I guess he would have to go to his mother’s house for food. And that was something he rather not do, haha.

He said he would be back to take me to the bus terminal. But I waited til 12:25pm and as my bus was leaving at 1pm, I had no choice but to leave without saying goodbye. I left him a thank-you note, took a taxi, had a very quick lunch at the terminal and gosh, the bus really left exactly at 1pm. Right on the dot! This was truly a different world compared to Peru, Bolivia…

I am going to Viña del Mar now. The reason is that nearly 3 years ago, I had met a family from Viña del Mar when we were holidaying at Villarrica. They then invited me to stay with them. Now, 3 years later, it would be great to see them again. Yesterday, at the observatory, when I mentioned to someone that I was going to Viña, she had said it was not worth it. I guess, in the end, it is always who you know in the town. I think I would really enjoy Viña because of the family.

Unfortunately, my friend Jessica had night classes today and she could not go pick me up at the terminal. So, I took a taxi to their home. Big, big, big, huge, damn huge mistake!!!! Firstly, they do not really live in Viña del Mar, but on a hill in the suburbs. Secondly, rates for taxi rides in Viña are DOUBLE anywhere else. In La Serena, it was 100 Chilean pesos for 200 metres. Here, it was 200 Chilean pesos for 200 metres. Imagine, every 2 blocks, the meter jumps up about US$0.40. By the time we pulled up in front of their house, it was… get this, US$15!!! OUCH!!! I was horrified!!!!! I had never paid so much for taxi in my life, I think!! I could not believe it at all!

Anyway, Señora Adrienne (Jessica’s mother) was working at her grocery shop and she was the first one of the family I met. She hugged me happily. But poor dear, she had recently broken her arm! Gosh, how could she work? But she bustled around the kitchen to try and get some tea and bread ready for me. My dear dear dear Chilean mama.

When Jessica came home, she called my name out loud. But she called my Chinese name!! I could not believe that after all these years, she still recalled my Chinese name!!! We greeted each other happily!! As it turned out, they could not really pronounce ‘Trisha’, but they could pronounce my Chinese name ‘Wei Xin’ very accurately. And so, for the past 3 years, they had been referring to me by my Chinese name. Incredible!! I hardly use my Chinese name outside of my home, but my family here in Viña had been using it all these times.

Jessica took me for a quick spin around Reñaca, Viña del Mar and Valparaiso in her car, proudly showing me the developments in the city these last few years. I could recall a bit of these two lovely cities. The train system had changed. Some new hotels had sprouted up. Viña is the favourite beach resort of Chile, so it is posh, modern, expensive and really pretty. Valparaiso has more lovely old buildings up the many hills, has a more defined charming character. I like them both.

When we got home, the rest of the family was there. Jessica’s brother Enrique, his wife, Fabiola and their children Kathya and Sebastian. Wow, how the two children had grown. Kathya is now a lovely, beautiful 18-year-old lady. And Sebastian, whom I remembered as a chubby little 11-year-old, is now much thinner and fitter and a very handsome 14-year-old. A little shy, too. Oh so so so so so so nice to see everyone again!