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I have a friend who I have known since college, since we strung a nylon fishing line from one apartment to another, a story or so down, and slid silly plastic toys down to each other. We also used to swim laps together, and when we lived in DC at the same time, even played lacrosse a time or two (disclaimer, I do not play lacrosse, but any sport which allows me to pretend that I actually can throw and catch is a bonus to me!).

And this friend skates roller derby.

Let’s just say that again. Roller derby. Do you know how cool that is? Skate and skate and skate and (not into the bumping into people part) hang out with a bunch of like-minded women and wear awesome short skirts and silly socks and tights? Why it’s like 4th (roller skated so much, I thought I was Tootie from The Facts of Life) and 9th (short skirts and tights) grades all wrapped into one.

This friend skates for a team in NY, and somehow or another has contact with someone on a team in one of the two leagues here in Santiago (she’s in the Metropolitan League (and they have a facebook page)). So I had to go check it out. The teams were Hot Chile (the winners) and Anfetamina (which my contact skates for).

And here’s some photos:

Pregame bench (Anfetamina):

Mid bout:

Danger mainly for those who fall badly (she went down on her back instead of onto her hands and knees, which are obligatorily protected by wristguards and kneepads.)

Bigger view of San Joaquin municipal gym floor with roller derby girls:

Is there anywhere where dogs do not appear in Chile?

Final score:

As you can see, Hot Chili won. It was a fun, family-friendly time with parents and kids (and dogs) and a good excuse to get off the metro somewhere I’ve never gotten off the metro before, and then drop. And I’ve never seen roller derby before, though I see some of the girls (from a different league) at Parque San Borja and think about how much cooler than me they are. Also, when I went up to my friend of a friend, I said, oh, hi are you X (her name), and she was like, you’re Y’s friend! and gave me a big hug. What a sweet group of people, really. I love being around people who do something they love.

And also, this is, perhaps also a silent response to two things that were either said to me or I overheard lately:

Thing 1. What is there, like, to do here? I mean, you study Spanish, and you sing karaoke and go to a couple of clubs, and that’s like, it?

Thing 2. You’ve been in Chile for 8 years? I’ve been back for a month and I’m bored.

So there’s my answer. Go watch roller derby. And think of what a kooky place Santiago is turning into, and how lucky you are to live here. Thanks Metropolitan Roller Derby and Pony (both of them).