We have been in Santiago for over a month, and the time passes very quickly. We’re now settled in to our two-bedroom apartment in Las Condes – petite, but very comfortable. Note that we have a second bedroom for visitors!
Getting to this point has taken a lot of coordination and support!Moving: This is our third apartment and we are here for the duration. Initially, we booked three nights at a short-term apartment; then we moved for 20 days to a cozy one-bedroom apartment that we sublet from a couple who was visiting England. (She’s a Brit and he’s Chilean. They seemed like a fabulous cooks since the kitchen was filled with lovely spices and gourmet items. A potluck is in our future!)
We found our current place and met our 25 year old (!) landlord, who is very helpful. We’re on the fifth floor with a nice balcony. In our building there are eight doormen to greet and help us, day and night. Leslie was tremendously helpful in finding these places and putting together our rental agreements, which is not trivial here in Chile.
For each move, our belongings were expertly moved by Marcelo in his truck.
Our building is just a few steps away from a Metro stop, so it’s very convenient. The landlord says the neighborhood is called “Sanhattan”. So, we go daily from “Sanhattan” to our “Chilecon Valley” incubator.
Internet: We’ve settled into our place and now have very fast and reliable 10Mbps WiFi. Ed was excited to sit at the table and inaugurate our connection!
Every day, Jan takes a Spanish class from StartSpanish. She talks to her teachers in Argentina over the Internet. Ed completes an HTML5/CSS3 class daily from Microsoft Virtual Academy. Both of us have cool headsets, so we can listen without bothering anyone.
Bicycles: We purchased some low-end mountain bikes at a local shop and love riding around the city. We discover new “cyclovias” (bike paths) each weekend. Also, we can ride to the “office”. It’s a great way to start the morning, particularly because it’s a downhill coast to the office from our apartment. The evening is another story, however.
Cycling is very popular in Santiago! When there isn’t a cyclovia, most folks ride on the sidewalk, so it can be a bit congested at times, especially during the commute hours. We’re learning to avoid this.
We’re Legit! We’ve passed many orientation hurdles in our first month: We signed our contract with the Chilean government (but are waiting for the official to countersign it.) We opened our bank accounts and got our credit cards, although our accounts have a zero balance. We returned to the “Registration Office” to pick up our official identification cards. Luckily we didn’t have to wait in the regular line.
We were able to go upstairs and pick up our cards, so we feel very “official” now. Also, our Startup Chile account executive asked for our local bank account information, so hopefully our grant from the Chilean government will be deposited soon!
An “Elite” Slice of Life: On Saturday, as we were riding around town, we noticed a lot of commotion at the local (swanky) polo club. We rode in, parked our bikes and walked around like we belonged.
The horse field was ablaze with color as riders from all over Chile were competing in a jumping contest. Each rider (the women in skin tight outfits) skillfully maneuvered a series of jumps, and was judged by a stern-looking panel in the “officials” area.
We also saw our first polo match! Who knew that the teams change the direction of their goal after every score?
After hanging out with the elite, we decided that we should get back on the bikes and ride more. We ended up at a lovely trail-side café and enjoyed Peruvian ceviche!
The weather has been lovely--much warmer than we expected. It is just now turning to fall, so we are pulling out our sweaters. When we look to the east, we see views of the Andes.
More adventures await!