One of the first lessons you need to learn when travelling is to work out what currency you are actually working with…………… a lesson i learned the hard way on new year’s eve……. it was an expensive lesson, but a funny one………… one that set us up for a very interesting, exciting night of your life type lesson, even though it almost burst the bank . lol
Prior to our arrival in Santiago, we had paid our accommodation ( in U.S. Dollars) and i had been in communications with one of the concierge staff to pre-book our table for the black & white ball that the hotel was hosting for New Year’s Eve………………. so i assumed when they sent the quote they were referring to USD as well.
So on the 30th Dec when we arrived in Chile I attempted to pay for our table booking as i had promised, only to be told that we could fix them tomorrow, as they were busy at the time. On the morning of the 31st i rocked up again to pay my 135.00 USD only to be told to come back at 6pm to finalise payment.
After our adventure on the hop on/hop off bus i headed to the reception desk to pay my booking- and for the third time i was told that i could pay later.
So 7.30pm came and we headed downstairs, all dressed up, to join the festivities.
But our names weren’t on the guest list……… we were supposed to be on a table for 10……….but the Martins’ were nowhere to be seen. So i went up to reception AGAIN, to find out what’s going on.
I showed them all the email confirmations about our booking, mentioned i tried 3 times to pay, and they were very apologetic….. so we were given our very own table for 2…….. Good start to the night, after the initial heart attack thinking we had nowhere to go.
What a bargain we were getting….. We started with drinks of Piso Sour ( in champagne flutes) and two entrees of seafood. (we tried to eat as much as we could of the salmon, the prawn and chunks of fish in a watery cup. But we drew the line at the oyster.- We are not big seafood eaters).
The main meal was steak and potato with red and white wine.
Desert was cheesecake crusted with pistachio with a small amount of icecream and drizzled with lemon & berry coulee.
Througout the evening we were being serenaded by the Chilean X Factor Contestant, Karen Brown. She sang mostly in English, and sang songs from my favourite movies- From Strictly Ballroom she sang “Perhaps, Perhaps, perhaps”. She sang “Sway” from Shall we dance, as well as singing songs like “All about the Bass’ by Meagan Trainer and “Is it too late to say sorry” from Justin Bieber.
It felt so surreal- like we were at someone’s wedding, it was SO posh…. and what a bargain at 135.00 USD each- i kept telling myself. ( 135 USD was equivalent to around $170 Australian dollars).
Michael, who is a bit more of a seasoned traveller than i, questioned the cost with me again, especially given what was being offered, so i decided to double check the emails i had received prior to our travelling overseas…………… and then i spotted that tiny little extra zero……… it wasn’t 135.00 ….. it was 135.000 (one hundred and thirty five thousand peso- which is probably closer to $275.00 Australian dollars each).
We both laughed about the mix up, nearly $600 for the night- oops- but it didn’t put a damper on the night………… we were having such a great night anyway, we just continued to eat, we drank more and thought “now we have a funny story to tell friends”.
After the meal, Michael and i danced a basic salsa. He had been worried that i wanted to be doing a full routine ( given i had just completed my bronze bar routine) but that was never the case. He watched a 5 minute basic three-step instructional video and he was fantastic on the night. Enthusiastic- that was all i was after.
So after paying our 270,000 peso at around 11.30pm we then ventured out onto the street to join the thousands of chileans in the count down to midnight……..be sure to check out my next post about what happens as the clock ticks midnight.