Wednesday, March 01, 2006


At "Botto", before I could even take a table, a fellow, who had clearly been drinking a bit too much, pulled out a chair and directed me to sit down. Francisco ("Poncho"), his girlfriend "Quen" and another friend, Cristian were celebrating with champagne, a bottle of Johnny Walker and a little bit of Coke. Now in his mid-40s, he was going back to school to study psychology. I was invited to join them on Poncho's yacht.

We talked about politics and the latest George W. Bush scandal: he's under attack for lying to the public about the threat to New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina.

Poncho said that nations have the governments they deserve. It certainly seems true of America. A populace obsessed with entertainment, addicted to consumerism and apathetic about the future, we have permitted the rise of a dismal and greedy regime. What does it take to wake up a nation to the fact they are being led by an utter fool? (Indeed, a cupboard full of fools!)

After they left, I ordered my usual: "Chivito", the classic sandwich of Uruguay the server tells me. He's from Uruguay, a very agreeable fellow and excellent server. By the end of the week, he was pulling out the Kunstmann "Torobayo" Pale Ale before I even sat down.

Dining at another table with friends, a striking young lady. I couldn't take my eyes off her. She was like a young Meryl Streep (though with dark features.) "People" (men, that is) comment about how beautiful the women are in Chile, or in Colombia, or in Argentina. To me, it is the same throughout Latin America: there is incredible beauty to be found in every country!

I introduced the restaurant staff to my favorite coffee drink: espresso with Bailey's and Gran Marnier (though they had to substitute Cointreau for the Gran Marnier.) I sampled it three times! The last one was free. Spent $20 this evening, a lot for a meal in Chile.

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