Give a Mouse a Cookie (or a Bucket List)

Maya Silver
October 28, 2013

Since week one, I’ve been keeping a list of things I want to do in Santiago. The rate of adding items exceeds the rate of checking them off, and so the list keeps growing. I check one item off, and three grow in its place. Basically, my bucket list is a bit like the hydra in Hercules, only more agreable. An extended example:

I was on the metro coming back from class in la Católica, when my friend called to ask if I wanted to go visit Pablo Neruda’s house. Of course I did – I had the afternoon free and it’d been on my list for a while. I got off at the next metro stop (perfect timing), met up with a group of friends, and walked over to the house. La Chascona is one of Neruda’s three residences, located in the neighborhood Bellavista amid restaurants, cafés, bars, discotecs, and street art. More than just a nobel prize-winning poet (“just” a nobel prize-winning poet?), Neruda was also a collector, a lover, an enthusiast of all things marine, and a political activist. His house is filled with objects from all time periods and from all over the world, arranged beautifully and with purpose. I felt I could stay there all day, reading, thinking, and creating.

After La Chascona, we wandered around Bellavista a bit, wandering in to a café-cum-contemporary-art-studio which I liked a lot. We stopped at another café for onces (before-dinner snack). And then we walked to the hill Santa Lucia to see the artisan fair.

In short, this is what I checked off my list:

  • La Chascona

And this is what I added to it:

  • Go back to the café/art studio in Bellavista – this time with homework, a notebook, markers, a camera, money for a small treat, and time to spare.
  • Go on a massive street-art photography walk through Bellavista and la Recoleta.
  • Memorize a poem by Neruda before I leave Chile.
  • Order a book of Neruda’s poems from Amazon and send it to my house in Boston so that it will be there when I get back.
  • One of Neruda’s poems made me think of a friend back home, and I’d like to copy it down nicely to give to them.
  • Go to an event at a theatre we passed along the way.

Consider the photos pending, until I go back with a camera. Meanwhile, here are some photos from El Cementerio General in Santiago.

In the historical patio of the cemetery. Popular catholicism, in the form of placards thanking god for "favors conceded." Niches are more or less cared for depending on the section. Memorial for the detained and disappeared, and burial place for those whose remains were found. The section Patio 29 was used by the military dictatorship for mass burials of executed individuals. The cemetery is like a small city of its own, with roads and mausoleums that look like buildings. Graves in a more recent and more populated section. Space reserved for members of the Chilean futbol team, Colo Colo.

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Maya Silver

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Maya is a senior majoring in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to classes and laboratory research, she enjoys running, martial arts, and improvisational baking (with variable results). Having achieved comprehension of the Baltimore accent, she hopes to master Spanish as well, and is looking forward to many adventures in Chile!</span></p>

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