Yesterday evening I was walking around the beautiful tree lined streets of Providencia, one of Santiago’s central upscale districts.
I might as well have been walking around Berlin or Strasbourg– Providencia is a clean, highly civilized area with plenty of parks, cafes, and boutique shops that adjoin the neighborhoods of manicured homes and quiet mid-rise condominium buildings.
On the streets its common to see a host of walkers, runners and bikers– Santiago is a very ‘outdoors’ city, much like Austin or Vancouver, and with such beautiful mountain vistas and great weather, it’s easy to understand why.
What’s interesting is the number of languages that you can hear being spoken while walking around town– the varied nationalities that have made Santiago their home is staggering for a country of this size (17 million).
It’s common to see the token French, German, British, and American expats… but in addition you come across people from all over the world– Africans, Taiwanese, Thai, Russians, and even Iraqis.