Monday, April 14, 2008

Antarctic Fail

As some of you may already know, me and my crew of camera guys, tour personnel, millionaires, management, a Guinness Book Of World Records adjudicator, photographer and more did not make it to King George Island in Antarctica. Instead, due to weather conditions preventing us from flying in, we were holed up in Punta Arenas, Chile. A city seemingly over run by children and stray dogs.

It was in the news, it was on the TV, on the internet, etc. After nearly going to jail in Santiago for broken drums (don't ask), it was definitely a huge disappointment and the resultant four days spent in Punta Arenas turned slowly into a living nightmare as local kids in increasing numbers took to standing outside our tiny hotel at all hours of the night and day. They would scream at us, yell out band members' names, throw things through our open windows, sneak in and knock on doors and leave notes, take photos of us eating, follow us around the very small city, and basically act in complete wonderment that something as improbable as one of their favorite bands was in their town which had probably never in history hosted a rock show.

Sometimes they would follow us around. By us, I mean me, our photographer Tom, our soundguy Kyle, and the camera operator Ritesh. Take note of them screaming for someone who ISN'T EVEN WITH US.

Other times they would just hang out in the alley behind the hotel and wait for HOURS for ANYONE to show their face or even give them the slightest attention...

Even getting into a car to go somewhere (which only really happened when we went to see penguins) meant a 25+ person crowd early in the morning....

It was starting to feel like we lived there and may possibly be stuck there permanently. We started visiting Abu Gosch which was the local supermarket.

We bought essentials.
chilean cereals
lifestyle hippies!
henry and the hippies

Once our stomaches were full of snacks and beer we cruised around town to see what the southern most continental city in the world had to offer...


We window shopped for metal records and shirts. They were closed.

Of course Kyle found the Masons Lodge.
kyle and the masons

We made friends with the locals...
with a homeless guy

...and ran away from others

Somedays we were forced to just drink the sorrows away using local questionable alcohol (at a Guinness world record pace)

All in all, it was a weird experience. It made me realize that I could never become desensitized to my own name. I couldn't hear my name being screamed over and over again to the point of absolute madness. It even continued on after most or all of the band had left.

Most of all the entire experience could be summed up in a popular 2-word phrase that's used a lot in non-english speaking countries when they can't or just won't do what you need/ask of them... "not possible". This is usually after they tell you it's "no problem", which may go on the list as 2nd most popular english phrase amongst non-english speakers.

The final slap in the face was arriving at the Punta Arenas airport early to check in to our long overdue flights home and finding that the ticket counter people were OUT TO LUNCH!! Well, "no problem"! I'll just check in using the machine. Oh, wait, that's "not possible"....

One last zing from the country that just wouldn't quit.... See ya 'round Chile!!


walkinvisible said...

please tell me you bought the cereal so that you can tell me what the prize is, exactly.... ?

xx erin

atarigeek said...

please tell me that is havana cuba rum that dude is drinking straight...

Toni-Marie said...

Them Fools is crazy.
Love the shopping, two healthy things in a trolley full of food. Awesome your famous in Chile Diaz