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Southern Exposure
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perspectives | by Priya Lal | February 04, 2004 at 02:10 PM | comments (8) | trackback (0)

so was named the chilean flick i was fortunate enough to view last nite in an open-air theater in southwestern santiago last nite. the movie was part of a cultural festival that i guess goes on every summer in the casa de cultura in the boho-intellectual neighborhood of Ñuñoa, and it was great... warm night, lots of people, popcorn, and a fanastically funny film about, well, sex and love among three chilean couples. i loved that skin was bared onscreen in a sort of "family-friendly" venue and i loved the candid discussions of sexual problems and insecurities that filled the dialogue. it was also a relief to chill out and be off my feet for a few hours, after my friend candy and i completed one arduous fucking hike up the towering san cristobal mountain on the northern edges of the city earlier that day. in the blazing sun of the middle of the afternoon, we somehow decided that it would be more enjoyable to walk all the way up the mountain (ok, maybe "big hill" is more accurate) rather than take the ascensor, or funicular, up like most sane people opt to do. en route we got a bit lost after trying to take a "shortcut" through the woods, and ended up finishing all our water, having to pee in the trees, and wandering around helplessly barefoot in search of human life and the main road. aahh, urban hiking. we finally made it back to the straight and narrow, though, and were rewarded enormously at the peak by having the opportunity to stand below and gaze up at one of the biggest, whitest virgin mary statues i've ever seen. so, in other words, it was all worth it. besides the monstrous virgin, we were privy to an excellent view of all of santiago in its dizzying, sprawling madness. well, excellent given that the omnipresent film of smog hovering over the city obscured the towering andes and blurred everything on the horizon.

classes are an hour longer this week since we've got a long weekend coming up, so my brain is that much more exhausted by the end of each day. today we read some of pablo neruda's earlier and very adolescentish (sophomoric?) looooove poetry in class, and read out loud essays we had each written about how we imagine the world in the future (an exercise meant to test how down we were with irregular future verb conjugations.) i love language classes, really. they're truly interdisciplinary. foreign language classes are one of the only academic venues, as far as i know, where a bunch of totally different people can come together and talk about what they think of love, the future, the world - tie down such abstract, floating ideas to a concrete process of learning vocabulary and grammar. it's nice ... almost as if while learning a new language you get the opportunity to redo second grade. Good Times.

as a side note, it was in one of these class discussions that the german giant stated, confidently and very much unironically, "science is my religion." amazing.
in other news, my diet has sort of disintegrated into a steady stream of eggs, bread, almonds, wannabe cheese, and watermelon. this needs to end. but the best alternative i can think of are empanadas de queso, and i'm not sure if filling my belly with fried dough and cheese is a much better option. hmmm.
an interesting thing i've noticed recently is that chilean military guys and gals, who pop up frequently on the street, have a uniform of dark olive (army green) trousers and, sort of paradoxically, light pastel minty green soft polo shirts up top. it seems that with such a vestimentary decision the army has coopted feminine pastel colors and militarized them. or maybe it's just me.

today i've got to crack down and get some work done, for tomorow i'm giving a 20-minute presentation in class about pre-columbian mapuche history, which i know nothing about and as of right now would be unable to give in english. i'm going to try to finish that quickly so i can get in a little reading of the book of garcia marquez short stories i'm currently working on, "la increible y triste historia de la candida erendira y de su abuela desamalda" (the incredibly and sad history of the innocent erendira and her heartless grandmother.) and so i can head back to Ñuñoa tonite for another flick, i believe about folks in the rugged southern climes of chile.

for now, i'll continue to ignore the rather loud trance music playing in this internet cafe and munch on some lemon cookies while i surf the net for today's news and views.


Priya - when I saw the title of your message, I thought you might be posting on the Rita Lee song currently making the rounds here in Brazil. It's called "Amor e sexo". The lyrics are really clever, and, were it not for its being overplayed, I would actually enjoy the Portuguese lesson that it is. I reproduce the lyrics below, lifted from the MPB-FM website.

BTW, we're looking forward to a visit to Santiago next month!

Amor e sexo
(Rita Lee/ Roberto de Carvalho/ Arnaldo Jabor)

Amor é um livro, sexo é esporte
Sexo é escolha, amor é sorte
Amor é pensamento, teorema
Amor é novela, sexo é cinema
Sexo é imaginação, fantasia
Amor é prosa, sexo é poesia

O amor nos torna patéticos
Sexo é uma selva de epiléticos
Amor é cristão, sexo é pagão
Amor é latifúndio, sexo é invasão
Amor é divino, sexo é animal
Amor é bossa nova, sexo é carnaval

Amor é para sempre, sexo também
Sexo é do bom, amor é do bem
Amor sem sexo é amizade
Sexo sem amor é vontade
Amor é um, sexo é dois
Sexo antes, amor depois

Sexo vem dos outros e vai embora
Amor vem de nós e demora
Amor é cristão, sexo é pagão
Amor é latifúndio, sexo é invasão
Amor é divino, sexo é animal
Amor é bossa nova, sexo é carnaval

Amor é isso, sexo é aquilo
E coisa e tal, e tal e coisa...
Ai, o amor...
Hum, o sexo...

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