Food, Friends and Family
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Ce-ache-i!

Ce, hache, i…

¡Chi!

Ele, e…

¡Le!

¡Chi, chi, chi, le, le, le…, viva Chile!

Another year, another celebration of the Chilean national day with our local token Chileans, Pau and Enrique.

Filled, as always with a tonne of food, exciting alcoholic beverages and- this year only- semi naked leaping men!:

More of that later!

Back in the middle of September, a couple of days before the official holiday of September 18th,  we headed out as a group to enjoy the celebrations.

We entered, looked around… and nearly began a panic-based riot because we couldn’t find the food stalls.

Don’t worry- this story has a happy ending:

FOOD!

Let the feasting begin!

I immediately headed for the empanadas, which looked crazy messy but tasted pretty darn amazing.

Sure, not as good as these ones, but still pretty excellent

My empanada guzzling put me in excellent company, although Pau seemed disappointed about the lack of raisins inside…

Still, Chilean number Two had different ideas:

Sopaipillas- a kind of pumpkin-y fried dough perfect for topping with salsa.

Chiara also got her Sopaipilla game on, while Shreya instead headed for the piscola (Pisco- a kind of spirit- with cola).

I’m not a huge fan of cola, generally, so went with the Terremoto option:

 

Literally, ‘Earthquakes’, these beauties are mad of wine, grenadine, and pineapple flavoured (!!) icecream. Something that I maintain could, and should, be a huge thing in Australia.

Unfortunately, the taste was not so great this year (too little icecream?).

So we switched to Pisco sours instead (Pisco + lemon+ sugar + eggwhites).

Meanwhile, I made a beeline for the next food stop- a Completo:

Basically, a hot dog, but one with with ALL of the toppings. Including salsa, chilli, mayonnaise, cabbage and avocado.

It was pretty great.

While I wrangled with the completo, Enrique proceeded to betray his country’s people by eating literally the only thing there that was not Chilean.

Apparently Peruvian food is just better!?

We hung around for a bit, chatting -and apparently pointing at the sky??- with people intermittently getting up to find their next favourite food or beverage…

 

.. and then it was time for Muti the Magician!

A little bit of magic, thrown in with a whole lot of performance.

We were all amused, but some of us were enthralled:

Sadly, like all good things, the magic of Muti had to come to an end. We wandered, heartbroken, from the hall…

…and proceeded to fill our sadness with sweets things.

Mote con Huesillos. Half dessert, half drink.  A kind of cinnamony syrup containing dehydrated cooked peaches and wheat kernels.

(^This is Chiara’s ‘are you stupid?’ face.)

Meringue with Dulche de Leche (above) and Torta de mil hoja (below)

This year was a strange one, because it’s the last year we’ll have our beloved Pau by our side. 2018 in general has felt particularly ‘flux-y’-not just for me personally- but for our strange little working group family as a whole.

Pau will return home to Chile at the end of next month, and it’s going be a pretty hard to lose the first person who opened her arms to me (literally-there was a lot of hugging encouraged from her :)) when I arrived in Germany.

We’ll all be holding out for #chile2020, a planned visit to Chile in October of that year.

At some point, someone noticed that the folk dancing was about to begin, so we headed back into the hall.

After several minutes of instrument tuning and general confusion, this fellow, complete with dashing white hat, stepped onto the stage:

And so the dancing began!

We ended up staying past nine in the evening, mostly because we wanted to wait for the raffle to be drawn to see if we would be the lucky new owners of the money or pisco prize.

We did not win.

The next day, one of our friends asked what we did in those evening hours.

The time passed something like this- Chiara reciting, forgetting, trying again. Trying to chant:

Ce, hache, i…

¡Chi!

Ele, e…

¡Le!

¡Chi, chi, chi, le, le, le…, viva Chile!

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