“More money”

Today I officially dub Friday the off-topic day, i.e. the day when my post won’t be about web developing. Fridays will contain different anecdotes, maybe some general opinion about something or so, but no web techniques discussed. Let me know if you think off-topic Fridays are a good idea!

Three years ago, my girlfriend and I went on a long trip around the world. We were away for almost five months, and pictures can be seen in our travel web site documenting it. Unfortunately for you non-Swedish speakers, the accompanying diary extracts are in Swedish, but if we meet one day I’ll be happy to tell you all about it!

Just the other day, I told a short story from that trip to a couple of my colleauges at work, and since I like the story, I thought this would be a good place to re-tell it.

We were in Santiago, Chile, for a couple of days, mostly just waiting for our flight to Easter Island. Since we had some non-scheduled time and being that close to the Andes, the vast mountain range that is stretching across the majority of South America’s west coast, we thought: “Why don’t we go see them”. Trying to get around on my extremely simple knowledge of Spanish, we started to ask people how to get to the Andes. Surprisingly enough, no one understood us. At all. But finally, someone we spoke to nodded and said: “Ah, los Andes!”. And I thought: “Well, los is plural and Andes sounds fine, so yes, we must talk about the same place here”. We got directions to the bus terminal from where we were supposed to take a bus.

Once at the bus terminal, we eventually found out what bus to get on, and boarded it. The system they have there for tickets is a conductor on the bus that asks you where you’re going and charges you accordingly. So when the conductor came up to us and told us the price, naturally, we didn’t understand him at all. The Spanish got a bit too complicated and their currency isn’t worth too much, so the number he gave us was too high to understand (once you’re past “cinco”, which means five in Spanish, you’ve lost me). We tried to ask him in English, but his knowledge in the English language was, shall we say, somewhat limited. He just kept on saying: “More money, more money” in a thick accent.

But then I came up with a brilliant idea: “Let’s give him some paper and a pencil, and then he can write the figure down for us”. So I handed it to him, thinking the problem was solved. He accepted it, jotted something down on the paper, and gave it back to me. I turned the paper over, and it literally read: “More money”…

Anyway, after (probably) paying the correct fare, we eventually got going with the bus. After a two hour bus ride we were finally at our destination. Or were we? I looked out of the bus’ window, and saw a village sign that read: “Los Andes”. It was the name of a small pueblo (village in Spanish), not the actual mountain range. But the village was located at the foot of the actual mountains, so it was close enough. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t actually up in the mountains, where we wanted to go. So after talking to the (not one, but the) woman in a small tourist information office, she advised us to take a local bus to something called Rio Blanco.

After one hour on the local bus, which was so overheated the bus driver’s son had to fill water into the engine all the time, he announced to us that we had reached our destination. We got off the bus and realized that Rio Blanco basically just consisted of a gas station and a river (guess the river’s name…). We took a short stroll up in the mountains, looked around and got back down to take the local bus back half an hour later. Three hours later, we were back in Santiago, after having spent a total of 6 hours on buses that day.


Interestingly enough (maybe some subconcious connection), I’m going to have a salary negotiation today with my boss, and what the heading reads comes to mind…


PS. Have a nice weekend, next post will be on Monday! DS.


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