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There are plusses and minuses to people thinking Santiago is great. On the one hand, um, yeah, we know, we’ve been here for so long, it’s practially part of us (side note later). On the other hand, please don’t muck it up. I like it the way it is (and am surprisingly change-averse).

One of the big changes is the arrival of major.major.major bands to Santiago. Just a week ago, when I was sitting in the GAM (Gabriela Mistral, that awesome new cultural center at Univ. Católica, with excellent photo exhibitions and a sweet little auditorium) listening to the stylings of my favorite “nueva trova” singer, Nano Stern, U2 was tearing up the airwaves all over Ñuñoa, in a show that was so unhealthily overcrowded that a friend of a friend had to be brought to the infirmary to prevent her from fainting.

And this week, this week we’re having Lollapalooza. Yay. Giant concert. Yay, giant concert about 13 blocks from my house. I think I will be hearing more live music than I’ve bargained for over the course of the weekend. Please, if ever you wanted to invite me to go do something far from here, now’s a great time. Except Sunday, when I already have plans.

The presence of Lollapalooza means a variety of things. It means my twitter feed is zipping along much faster than normal on my Chile and Santiago columns (Tweetdeck), and it means the number of people asking me questions via email (yes, you can do that, yes, I might answer) is higher than normal, and it means I got to hear a radio announcer explain how to spell Lollapalooza by saying it phonetically in Spanish. It’s Loh-ya-pal-oh-oh-sa, if you were wondering.

It also means that I’m being bombarded with information about bands I liked when I was in college, before indoor plumbing and flush toilets (some exaggeration), like Jane’s Addiction. Insert whiny slow drug-addled music here (them, not me). Also, last night as my friend C and I were at one of our favorite Bellas Artes cafés, the one that gives you tiny heated croissants filled with nutella if you ask nicely (mmm), the “party bus” passed by. It looked straight out of a reality show, and you could hear the shouts of the inebriated passengers from within. Party bus can take the pub crawl and a certain weekly gathering named for a day of the week and just get out of my periphery, as far as I’m concerned, but then I’m not their target audience (see flush toilet snark and the fact that I listened to Jane’s Addiction in college).

Which makes it even funnier that for NileGuides, I wrote a piece on tips for Lollapalooza. Here it is (I get rich if you click on it enough times, and if you do, I will totally buy you antiinflammatories for your pain). Seriously though, there are some really strange policies (no come-and-go-privileges for a day-long concert where you can’t bring in food or drink? No professional cameras? Click and learn).

Footnote optional, though funny.

And now that side story: Last weekend I was up hiking Manquehue (one day I’ll write up the details for how to do this, but whatever you do, go in a group. People get mugged there with great frequency). It was a bilingual group, and I fell into a conversation with a social worker from Alberta, a guy with a mountain goat-like ability to hop down the terrain both fowards and backwards (insert weak-ankled envy). At some point someone Chilean started talking to me and said, “Hablas super bien el español” (you speak Spanish so well!). And I said, “Gracias, llevo todo una vida acá” (thanks, I’ve been here for forever, where forever either means literally forever, or just a really long time” and then she said, “Entonces, tu inglés es envidiable, realmente te felicito!” (Well then, your English is excellent, congratulations.” And then I had to explain that when I said I’d been here for forever, I didn’t really mean forever, it was an exaggeration. Like the no flush toilets in college thing. Except tomorrow? It will have been seven years. Where oh where has the time gone? I’m so glad they’ve planned a giant concert in celebration.