We had our school supplies---now it was time for the uniforms. There is a place called Scolari that sells them. When we got there, a woman helped us find the right skirts and shirts for our school (each school has its own uniform).
First, we had to try on our skirts. They are gray, short, and mine came with shorts under it. RJE has to wear a pinafore over her polo shirt with the school logo on it.
For gym, we wear sweat pants, a normal white shirt with the school insignia, and a jacket. The school calls this a "buzo". Another part of our uniform is gray socks and black shoes. You can find shoes anywhere, so we decided to go to a mall for them. I picked Mary-Janes, size thirty-nine for me, and RJE picked tying shoes, size thirty-two (shoe sizes are different here).
Later came Sodimac (a large store like Home Depot), where we bought plants for the balconies. We had to haul heavy bags of soil and plants with pots home (a twenty-minute walk!) while RJE and Dad were enjoying a piña popsicle. I picked out a plant that looked like it had little peppers hanging from it.
We also got a wonderful-smelling lavender shrub, and some small white flowers.
Once home, as a treat, we got a pot of chirimoya ice cream. In English, the fruit is known as Custard Apple or Cherimoya. It has a greenish color on the outside and white inside, with large brown seeds. It's delicious! To find out more about cherimoya, go here.
Unlike Virginia, where it rains a lot in the summer, we had not gotten a single drop in Santiago. But finally, we got some a few days ago. It rained all day, and when it cleared up, RJE and I looked out the window and saw...SNOW! It was only on the mountains, but we were very surprised to see snow in the middle of summer. It was beautiful. Here is a picture:
The Chilean president is a woman, and she lives just a few blocks away from us! We walked by her house a few days ago. There were a lot of policemen standing around in the neighborhood. Many of the policemen were police WOMEN. They wear a green uniform with a cap. In Chile and Argentina, the president lives in his or her own house, and works in a separate office building. In the U.S.A., the president lives AND works in the White House. Instead, the president of Argentina works in the Pink House (La Casa Rosada), and in Chile she works at La Moneda, which means "the coin," the name the building had a long time ago, when it was the place where the government produced coins.
When we stop at parks on our walks, we always see dogs. I named one that I see all the time Mr. Sooty, because he is black. There are also two fat pugs that walk around with their owner. We call pugs "Suki dogs" because our old friend Suki was the first pug me met. On our way home from the park, a fluffy white cat is always sitting on the window sill of an apartment building next to ours, watching all the pigeons go by.
The Spanish word for pastry shop is Pastelería. We see them everywhere, so we get some treat at least once a week. The closest one is in an old house that has parking signs outside in German, I think because the owners may be German (the shop is called Pastelería Franzel). Last week we bought blueberry muffins and one chocolate-chip muffin. Dad didn't know what blueberries were called in Spanish because he said he never saw one when he was a kid. Now, we all know what it is: Arándano.
RJE and I wanted to try out a pastry ball covered with coconut that looked very good. Mom said it was just a sugar bomb---mostly made of dulce de leche (milk cooked with tons of sugar until it becomes brown and creamy) and pieces of dough and coconut. We just had to buy one, and it was a bomb!
When the shop's owner gave us the muffins, she said she was sorry that they were Chilean style, not American style. We didn't know what she meant. When we ate them, I could not tell how they were different. I guess we'll have to keep on buying them to find out.
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The RatSoap™ Project is a work in progress, 2006-2007