Santa Lucia, Politics and Annoying Ads

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I get it. Advertisements make many things free or cheaper. That’s why I bought the domain name for this site – I thought the ads would go away. Apparently I didn’t read carefully enough. It only takes the WordPress part out of the address bar. Whatevs. Here is a funnier ad, not because it’ll make you chuckle but because it is ridiculously huge:

2013-10-22_13-05-12_291You see that monstrous banner movie ad? That’s plastered above the Santa Lucia Centro Artesanal, which it says in a tiny strip below the advert. Super helpful. Anyhow, this artisan space is centrally located on Alameda #510, and it has boatloads of handmade items from the southern parts of this continent. If you are in the market for a gift, it is the absolute perfect place to go because of the abundance of options, prices and styles. My find Kenna from Canada [I love to say that] recently went back to the northern climes, but has so fallen in love with handmade shoes they sell there that I recently went to pick up a few pairs to send up. She has good taste and now I have to procure myself a two-pack. The place is called Tierrazul, and they show several of the styles on their website. I was pleasantly surprised when they emailed back the same day with an answer to my question. That doesn’t always happen around here because people don’t usually check email with regularity.

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Here is one of the numerous aisles to peruse. Aside from shoes, they have one of a kind clothing for adults and kids, silver and lapis lazuli jewelry, handbags, backpacks, hammocks, wall hangings, trinkets, magnets, assorted artworks, socks, sweaters, knit caps and gloves, incense, candles and hemp body care products, not to mention coffee, tea, empanadas and tarot. It’s a great little spot and a far cry from a mall.

Once I got the shoes purchased I thought I’d head to the principal library – the Biblioteca Nacional – for a quiet read just a block down from Sta. Lucia. They always have an interesting art exhibit as well on the main floor.

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Denied! National strike concerning the privatization of public pensions into the AFP system, which many claim is taking huge chunks of people’s savings.

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So I thought, okay, I’ll head to the park. On the way I saw a few political ads, and I realized this is my second presidential election here. How did that happen? Chile has a way of sucking people in! Ha, ha! Michelle Bachelet was the president before current President Piñera. Here you can have two terms, but not consecutively. She is the candidate of the center-left coalition, and she’s expected to win. She spent the last few years heading the UN Women section.

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There ya go. Right on top of the building. I guess it makes more sense than the thousands of wooden-framed posters that are currently lining the street sidewalks, which get mostly destroyed and end up lopsided laying in the bike “path”.

This one is funny, because it just seems like the first idea a tired ad person came up with and called it a day. “Un Siete Para Chile” – A Seven for Chile, Evelyn Matthei. The educational grading system here is one through seven, with seven – of course – being the best mark.  She seems to have been hand-picked by the right wing party for the striking similarity of her background to Bachelet.

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Aside from these two parties, there are many others. Although the winner is likely to come from these two primary coalitions because they have the numbers, ALL the candidates from every party participate in the televised debates, which I quite simply think is rad.

On my way to the park I found a fair going on-

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– so after perusing I kept walking on over to the Santa Lucia Hill to cop a squat. Here you can walk around inside the bright yellow gazebo, find a park bench to sit and read without being harassed or walk up to the top of the hill for a brief bit of cardio. A vertical park! There is a tourist info. center inside and a Mapuche artisan space for perusal or purchase. There is a wonderful sign outside pronouncing the entrada liberada or “liberated entrance”, a quite literal and humorous translation meant to say “free entry”. If found myself a Mapudungun dictionary, the language of the Mapuche. Now if I could only learn how to pronounce the words in it…

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