Friday, September 14, 2012

It was really foggy this morning

I couldn't even see the tops of buildings as I was biking by them!  I guess I'm not sure if it was fog or smog.  It was wet, though.

I'm getting settled in to work.  I have a project that I'm working on which is to develop an activity about astronomy for 20-30 kids that takes 20-30 minutes for a fair that's happening in October.  I am not sure if I'm working on a project about astronomy because that's a big deal in Chile (tons of observatories, really clear skies) or because that's what they think my background is in.  I'm just not sure how much is lost in translation when I say aerospace engineering.  I guess that happens in the US too, because people often think I do astrophysics.  Either way, I'm happy to do astronomy for this activity.  I'm considering 4 different activities that I found on the internet (thanks, internet!).  One is making bottle rockets (which in this case means bottles that launch rockets made out of straw).  The second is making a scale model of the solar system.  The third is doing a game about matching up planets and other solar system objects with facts about them.  And the fourth is making a model of how an eclipse works, which I think might be the least fun but is particularly relevant because a couple weeks after the fair there's going to be a solar eclipse visible from Chile, so that might add some excitement.

I'm feeling less enthused about biking to work after doing it today and yesterday.  It's not so much that it's not safe as that it's really difficult and annoying.  Unlike in the US (excluding LA) or Copenhagen, there's not really a clear place for bikes to be, like Sam said in an earlier post.  It seems like most people bike on the sidewalk, but the sidewalks are not well set up for biking.  Especially as I get closer to work, the sidewalks stop having ramps consistently and I have to keep getting on and off my bike to get off and on the sidewalk.  And sometimes the sidewalk is a disaster or suddenly stops existing.  I haven't felt like I was going to get hit by a car; in fact the drivers here are much more polite than in Boston.  Nor have I felt like I was in a neighborhood that was unsafe (at least during the day, when I'm there).  But there are still lots of problems with biking.  For example, the roads are mostly in a grid pattern, except at the end when it becomes a very tricky maze.  So yesterday when I was biking home, I ended up a whole neighborhood away from where I was trying to go.  The roads that had been there in the morning had been moved by the afternoon.  Or at least that's what it seemed like.  Luckily I had the iPhone with me (thanks, Alan!), so I wasn't too scared of being lost, but I ended up doing a lot of extra biking and being late for dinner with Sarah, my old next door neighbor who I used to babysit who just so happens to be doing study abroad in Chile for the semester!

So dinner last night was at our second vegetarian restaurant that we've experienced, called Cafe del Patio.  The food was great.  But the highlight of the dinner by far was catching up with Sarah!  It really blows my mind that she's not a little kid anymore.  And her Spanish is worlds ahead of mine.  I hope we get to hang out more!

Sorry this post doesn't have any pictures.  I've been taking some, but I have to wait until I'm home in wifi to get them from the phone to the computer/internet.  I'll write more later!

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