New Year’s Eve the Chilean way

NYE with some of my fellow remotes.

New Year’s Eve or Silvester as we call it in Germany is usually the biggest party of the year. You go out, dance on the streets and marvel at the countless fireworks at midnight. Not here in Santiago de Chile. At least not this year. Because of the unrest in recent months, there was no official firework and private fireworks are not allowed. It was an unusual sight to walk the streets in Santiago after midnight and not spotting a single soul.

Nevertheless, celebrating the start of a new year and a new decade here in Chile was memorable. In this part of the world festivities like this are a family affair. Being very family orientated, the Chileans prefer to have their parties at home with family and friends. Something I admire. And if they go out – as we discovered during our NYE dinner show at a reputed restaurant – they include the whole family. We had four generations sitting at the table next to us, obviously having an amazing time together and interacting with each other, chatting, laughing, dancing – no mobile phone to be seen. Unfortunately, in our yet so modern world, we do not see this very often anymore. Actually, pretty sad.

Interesting to see was also that NYE parties here in Santiago only start after midnight and it’s mostly the younger generation that turns night into day and party until the sun comes up. So, the people here in Santiago de Chile certainly do know how to party – they just do it in a more family orientated way.

When you plan to go to Chile and end up in Brazil

Airplane
Image by Nils Nedel

Don’t ever leave me in front of a computer to book a flight without supervision. As I was trying to sort my (direct) flight from Dubai to Santiago de Chile – the first stop of my Remote Year adventure – I happened to notice that there is a “technical stop” during the 20-hour long flight. In Rio de Janeiro!

Intrigued by the thought of stopping in Brazil’s famous seaside city – home of the Christ The Redeemer statue, the Copacabana and the Sugar Loaf Mountain – my mind started wandering. I already pictured myself taking images of the famous coastline from atop Mount Corcovado, strolling along Ipanema Beach and checking out Rio’s Lapa and Santa Teresa districts.

Rio de Janeiro
Image by Raphael Nogueira

Usually my favorite airline Emirates offers free stopovers, so I paused the booking process and gave them a call. To my dismay the lady on the other end told me that a stopover in Rio is not possible – we’re not even supposed to leave the plane.

Can you imagine how I felt, imagining sitting on the tarmac in Rio de Janeiro and not having the possibility to explore the world’s second largest city? So, I’ve spent the afternoon searching several flight portals and bingo – with a few twists and turns I was able to get my stopover and are now fortunate enough to spend three days in South America’s Samba capital. Imagine the grin on my face ;).

Samba, Bossa Nova, breathtaking landscape, here I come!