Corrugated City

Saturday, 10 March 2007

What's it all about?

Well, i've been trying to get around to this first post for quite some time but a fair few things have got on top of me and it hasn't been possible. The idea in this first post is to explain what this blog is going to be about. Or maybe i should explain what it's not going to be about and then we'll go from there.

This blog will NOT ... used to bitch and whine about things that annoy me, rather it'll be used to point out Chile's and particularly Valparaiso's little foibles. political. Or at least i'll try my hardest not to write too much political rubbish. That's for other, less interesting people to write about.

The idea is to give an outsider's inside view of life in the Quinta Region's capital city: Valparaiso. My main focus will be on the city's architecture and the influence of foreign immigrants (in particular, the British, seeing as i'm English myself) on the city's growth, culture, atmosphere and physical look. I want other foreigners to understand the city they visit. Most tourists come for a day, have a quick wander around and then go back to Santiago without really 'seeing' the city. Valparaiso is worth far more than a day. You can spend days walking around the exact same streets and see something new or surprising or just plain loco that you failed to notice the day before; it happens to me every single day.

So why 'Corrugated City'? For those of you familiar with Valparaiso, you'll know that most of the old houses here are made from adobe. To protect the exterior from the wind and winter rains, these houses are clad in corrugated iron (although they're now made from zinc or aluminium). i kind of see all of Valparaiso like that, especially the people. Portenos (Valparaiso locals) are famous in Chile being tough, proud and perhaps somewhat awkard. They can come across this way, but underneath this armour-plated exterior i've found them to be friendly and generous.

So...corrugated city, referring to the architecture, people and city in general. Crinkly on the outside, warm and friendly on the inside.

I'll also be reviewing the places i go: restaurants, tours, museums etc. I'd like this blog to eventually become a kind of one-stop site for all kinds of info about Valparaiso.

This and the following post will most likely be the last posts for almost a month as very soon i've got visitors and we're off on a mini-tour of the south but once i get back, i'll start blogging with a vengeance. Hopefully.

Feel free to leave comments and suggestions. If you have any info about Valparaiso that might be of interest feel free to get in touch.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the blog. Valapariso is beautiful, I only ever spent a day there when I was a student in Stgo 15 years ago and I've always wanted to go back. Now I can vicariously at least.
--Melissa (sks MELEE)

Matt said...

Hey MELEE, thanks for the comment. Glad to hear you like the blog. Valpo is, indeed, beautiful: a little rough around the edges but that sort of adds to its charms (although i think most Portenos would prefer the city with the 'rough' part).

Matt said...

that should have read '*without* the rough part'...