Today marks Chile's independence day (ish). The Fiestas Patrias are a week long excuse to drink, eat, dance and generally do lots of things related to everything Chilean. This being my fourth FP and, being English, not really having much of a vested interest in them I'm content to pretty much ignore everything and carry on my life as usual.
Like at the totally mental Carnavales Culturales held in Valparaiso between Christmas and New Year, many people seem to think that the FPs are an excuse to get drunk, rob and cause trouble. Up here in the hills it's generally ok but it can definitely get, shall we say, 'tasty' downtown. Hopefully this year it won't but...
...the Ilustre Municipalidad de Valparaiso is concerned enough to provide this handy leaflet giving you ideas as to how to stay safe. It's quite depressing that they feel the need to do this, to be honest. Oh well.
1. If you're driving, don't drink alcohol.
2. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
3. Eat food and drink alcohol in licenced places.
4. Don't park your car in public places that are dark and don't have security. Remember not to leave valuable objects on view.
5. If you leave your house or apartment, make sure you securely close all doors and windows and leave somebody trustworthy in charge of your property.