10 Days in Chile | 1 Week in Santiago: Day 2 & 3

When we landed in Santiago after our weekend in the desert, we were all pretty wiped and hungry. Unfortunately, because it was a holiday Monday, basically everything in Santiago had shut down so we were low on options.
We ended up just going to the grocery store and buying ingredients to make dinner. At L's request, I made carbonara and showed her how to make it so she could make it for herself in the future.

We went shopping at Lider, which is actually owned by Walmart (their logo is the same). I always think it's fun to shop abroad so I had a great time walking around, browsing, and picking out a local wine to enjoy with our meal.
After our late lunch/early dinner, I showered, washed the sand out of my hair, and did a moisturizing mask to repair all the damage from 48 hours in the desert.
Then, we just spent the evening chatting and enjoyed the sunset views from L's balcony. My second day in Santiago was rather uneventful, but I think I needed the recovery time.
On my third full day in Santiago, I woke up nice and early and grabbed a metro to Los Heroes to enjoy the distinct architecture and street art that this neighborhood is known for.
To be honest, I was still a little apprehensive about everything I had read about the severe crime in Santiago so I didn't take quite as many photos or videos as I would have liked whilst I was here. As I spent more time in the city, I slowly got more comfortable but I remained pretty vigilant about not flaunting my camera or phone or anything that would make me a target for street urchins.
There's a nice little pedestrian-only area in the city center with loads of shopping so I spent a little time walking around here before heading to a couple of markets.
This famous seafood market is typically bustling and alive but I think I was there at an off hour or an off day because there were hardly any people and none of the fish vendors had anything out.
I did end up buying a couple of llama magnets and pens to give to friends as souvenirs.
In between the Mercado Central and the Mercado Vega, I passed by street vendors selling nuts, dried fruit, grains, and granola.
This market was much more exciting. It was packed to the brim with vendors selling everything from produce to pickles to pet food in bulk.
This place is a bit more difficult to navigate though. It's humongous and packed and the vendors only want to sell in bulk so they'll get a little snippy if you try to buy anything less than a kilo. I bought an onion and an avocado from one vendor and I think I only got away with it because he was charmed by my pathetic Spanish skills and also he just wanted me to hurry up and leave.
A few blocks from the market is Little Korea. I only recently learned that there's a decently-sized Korean population in Chile. I ended up at the market to buy a few ingredients so I could make dinner for L and N through the week (since they were working while I was vacationing). Everything was v. decently priced.
I know this might seem lame but I had eaten too many fries and unsatisfying foods in the few days I'd been in Chile so my body was craving some comfort and I ended up getting Korean food for my first lunch in Santiago.
I got dolsot bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables in a hot pot) and it was served with a generous amount of banchan (side dishes) and soup. This meal totally hit the spot.
The street art in Santiago is great. Keep your eyes peeled as you're walking around.
One of Pablo Neruda's houses is in Santiago, right near Cerro San Cristobal. You can pay to go inside. Because I'm cheap, I opted to just ogle it from outside.
By mid-afternoon, I had walked 20,000 steps (about 8 or 9 miles) so I was ready to get back home and crash on the sofa for a bit. So I hopped on the metro to Las Condes.
However, I took a quick detour to the same grocery store we'd visited the day before to pick up some more ingredients for the week's dinners as well as ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies, which I thought would be a nice treat for the girls.
We had summer rolls for dinner (at L's request), which I made vegetarian by marinating mushrooms and eggplant instead of meat.
After dinner, we watched the movie 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and then hit the hay.