In beginning level Spanish classes you learn that the definition of “rico” is rich. Makes sense, right? But then as soon as you are getting your Spanish language sea legs they flip in on you and inform you that “rico” can also mean “delicious.” In Chilean, however, which I have mentioned is very different from General American Spanish, “rico”can refer to anything that is good, pretty, delicious, awesome, exciting, or just plain wonderful. And so I digress, Friday was “rico” in the best, most Chilean, sense of the word.
I started off my day very early to go to Valparaíso and get my Chilean ID, a process that entailed having to wait in a line from about 8:30 to 10:30 am. Ok, so maybe that isn’t so rico. But the fact that I was forced to get up so early left the doors open for an amazing rest of the day.
Following a heavily bureaucratic operation, what is the best way to lift the soul? That’s right, coffee. Real coffee. So friends Maya, Emma, Evan and I, went wandering around Cerro Concepción looking for a coffee shop. Unfortunately, at 10:30 am in Chile it may as well be 5:00 am in the States, because all the cafes were closed. It forced us to wander around and explore until the ripe hour of 11:00, which was a lot of fun in itself.
We eventually landed at Café con Letras, a quaint little place that also stocks books from wall to wall (everything from Neruda to Harry Potter in Spanish!). We resisted the urge to order from their extensive list of pancakes, knowing we would be eating lunch within a couple of hours, and all ordered coffee. I got a café mocha, which unlike the mochas typical of the U.S. was not uncomfortably sweet, but rather simply had the depth offered by cocoa powder. Result? Rico.
After coffee we wandered around some more until it was lunch time.
For lunch, we met up with a few other friends to go to “Le Filou de Montpellier,” a French restaurant owned by a “mad Frenchman” (according to Lonely Planet, at least) that serves up fixed menu feasts with constantly changing selections of appetizer, entrée, and dessert.
I started with a ham, cheese, vegetable, and the most heavenly cream sauce filled crepe and a small salad,
Then moved on to a fillet of reineta (a type of fish) with a vermouth sauce, paired with a side of roasted potatoes and caramelized onions.
To finish I had chocolate topped profiteroles, a puff pastry filled with icecream. There was also a raspberry sauce drizzled on the plate, which added the best bit of tartness possible. Rico. NOM.
So after having our tummies being filled up with so much deliciousness that we could barely stand, we made our way back down Cerro Concepción to meet up with a larger group of CIEE students and a couple of staff members to go on a walking tour of Valparaíso. It was pretty cool, we took a trolley around town, saw a bunch of plazas in the “plan” (the flat, sea-level area of Valparaíso), and rode up an acensor I hadn’t been on, among other things.
We finished up our day by going on the same boat tour that I had gone on with Coni, Alonso, and Camilo, but this time we saw sea lions! ¡Rico!
I finished up my day by going to a concert by a group called Arak Pacha. They perform Andean music and poetry from the North of Chile and are really into saving the world and maintaining our environment. They also somehow made a chorus of pan flutes sound almost electric. Super-rico.