It was 8 in the evening and we were walking down the streets of Puerto Montt looking for dinner.
There was one small problem… The shops on both sides of the streets were all closed and a lot of the street lamps were flickering like they’d just been cannibalized off the set of American Horror Story.
Lonely Planet mentioned that Puerto Montt was the “springboard to Chilean Patagonia and a nice port town to spend an afternoon in”.
We did not know that they were actually literal about the “afternoon” portion of that statement.
Since our arrival in South America, we had sort of adjusted to their “normal” dinner time of 9pm. At the recommendation of the owner of our guest house, we decided to take a walk down the water front towards the pier-side restaurant area.
It must’ve slipped his mind to mention that it was a 20-minutes walk to the pier, and that the streets leading there are not very brightly lit…in fact they were not very well-lit at all.
As you might (or might not) know, since our arrival in “crime-infested’ South America, I’ve been extra-paranoid about the prospect of being robbed/mugged/raped/killed. Yet, for some reason, walking down those dark streets in Puerto Montt, with no one around us for (what seemed like) miles, my Spider senses did not go a-tingling.
Probably the hunger speaking…
In fact, it was Jo who started squirming uneasily once she realized that the ONLY shops that were still open were liquor stores winding down their business for the night.
And HER spider senses were spot on.
A clearly inebriated old man stumbled out of one of these liquor stores. He broke into a toothless grin the moment he saw us and proceeded to walk alongside us, chattering to us excitedly in rapid-fire Español.
Honestly, I was super freaked out, but being stereotypical polite-to-a-fault Asians, we smiled and nodded along even though we understood approximately 8.5% of what he was saying.
That’s why, to this day, I am not really sure how the conversation evolved from restaurants in the area to him repeatedly saying “Jackie Chan” whilst dancing around us and waving his hands wildly in the air.
The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back was when he suddenly let out a blood-curdling, “HAAAIIIIIIYAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” and got into Wong Fei Hong-style fight stance.
That was it.
I took one last glance at the long dark road still ahead of us, grabbed Jo’s hands and did an immediate U-turn, mumbling “Not hungry not hungry not hungry not hungry not hungry not hungry not hungry”
And that’s the story of how we had stale biscuits and melted chocolates for dinner.