It is currently 19:35 on a chilly (sorry, I could not resist) Thursday evening as I begin this post.
Going abroad on holiday is one thing, but travelling to an unknown country to film a documentary is another.
Today was my first day to go out and get some footage. My plan was to explore the local area of my residence and get some GV’s for the documentary.
All was going well to begin with. There is a fantastic water feature close to my accommodation, which starts the build up to a run of statues and monuments.
Not long after walking through the park, I found my first homeless person in broad daylight. I saw one homeless person scrummaging through rubbish late last night, after all.
One of the things that strikes me about homeless people is how they manage to sleep during the day, especially when the sun is shining directly on them.
This person was wrapped up in dirty clothes, with a filthy green jacket, a brown wooly hat and a bag wrapped around their left foot to top it off.
The homeless rate in Chile has alarmed the government in recent years, but what struck me was the amount of people that seemed startled by the presence of this homeless human being on a park bench – surely everyone has seen a homeless person in their life?
Not long after leaving the green jacket wearer behind, I was approached by two men on motorbikes. From what I could work out, they were police officers guarding the local area who had mysteriously appeared out of nowhere on their vehicles in the middle of the park.
I must confess, I have felt extremely uncomfortable since arriving in Chile. However, this is more down to my brain being incapable of holding in another language rather than any unpleasantries so far.
I had no idea what the policeman was saying, but I know it resulted in me saying “no hablo espanol” and him showing me how to put the camera in my jumper pocket.
Phrases like “no hable espanol” amuse me. You are saying that you can’t speak a language by talking in that very language.
Anyway, having put the camera in my pocket and swiftly walked away, I begun to feel very weird. I have never been approached by the police officer in a “telling off” situation before let alone by one that speaks a language that I do not understand in an area which I am unfamiliar with.
Considering I was not even filming at the time and the tripod was in the bag over my shoulder, I was left somewhat confused by the proceedings.
I could do nothing else but take pictures on my phone and walk back to the comforts of my accommodation.
Tomorrow is indeed another day, though. Angela Gonzalez from Accion Total has been in contact this evening. She kindly invited me to an event at the Plaza de Armas and asked to meet up next week to discuss plans for the documentary.
For now, I shall retire to my bed to get rid of my tiredness and freshen up for the fast-approaching weekend.