Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pomaire, in pictures. But barely any terra cotta.

Welcome class! Yesterday we learned that she-donkey milk is still sold in Santiago, that it's high in good lipids, that Cleopatra bathed in it and that Emily could use your get well soon vibes after a very unfortunate incident which she summed up on twitter as "I braked with my face." I think she'll be okay though. Perhaps we should go find a she-donkey's milk?

Today is about bad photo juju (I raise my hand as a sufferer this weekend, everything was bleck), and about taking a day trip out of the city just because you can. I corralled one entire friend (tried to get a few more, but they slipped away) into going to Pomaire, the land of greda, or terra cotta figurines, tiny three-legged pigs, bowls, plates, fuentes (like a casserole dish) and pocillos (little bowls). I didn't take pictures of any of these items on purpose, preferring (as has recently been the case) to catch people unawares and doing what they were doing. Taking pictures of bowls n things is (I'm sure) an art, but since this is my fourth trip to Pomaire (though the first time taking the bus, the others were, in this order, bike, car, bike), I was more interested in the artichoke empanada and taking pictures of the people.

So I present to you: People working while I'm on my day off. Isn't that sweet?

This gent is dusting the items for sale. The town is pretty dusty, what with being mostly unpaved, and people like to buy clean items. Plus it makes them look like they haven't been sitting there as long.

the mythical empanada
This empanada (hot meat pastry) is kind of a joke. In Pomaire you are alleged to be able to get this great, giant empanada that weighs half a kilo (1.1) pounds, and that's filling and delicious and costs very little. The truth is, all the (traditional) empanadas are onion and meat, in proportions depending on the prices of the aforementioned items. This gag empanada is for purely photographic purposes, I believe.

when you can't go to the feria (fresh market), it will come to you. I like to make up a story about grandpa (selling), and his grandson sitting in the front seat playing with the radio. Also, those beets? Gorgeous!

a la venta
This woman's not a part of the official sales of Pomaire. She's an independent businesswoman set up on the side of the road selling figurines. What a job location. And it only gets colder from here on out.

punching the clock
I'm happy for this woman that she has a job, but equally happy that I don't have to do it. She sits in the bus shelter and grabs the time cards from the drivers as they drive by, running across the road to punch the clock for them and then delivering the card back to the driver.

señora, su snack y su perro
When I was taking this picture, I zoomed in a little, and a little kid behind me said, "es como un telescopio?!" (It's like a telescope!), and I told him "Es que estoy muy floja, no me gusta acercarme. Asi que me quedo acá y la cámera se acerca" (I'm just really lazy, I don't like to get close. So I stay here and the camera gets close). Mostly he was just surprised that I had heard him, and responded. Love the dog.

Here's where we ate, my secret Pomaire picada with vegetarian empanadas in the traditional dough, cooked in the oven. Made to order. We got artichoke, and didn't even have to raise our hands our shout out the window. My bench had some kind of animal pelt on it. Comfy and warm, but at the same time kinda creepy. I might be convinced to divulge the location of the secret picada, but only if you don't mind a bunch of flies around your food and tablecloths covering plywood tables that get shaken out between customers, and possibly between days as well. Sit near the oven, toasty.

Deets: From Terminal San Borja (metro Estacion Central), 1350 CLP, buses (intercomunales) throughout the day, or if not go to Melipilla (more busses, but you kind of overshoot and backtrack) for 1400, and then a local bus for 300 back to Pomaire. Budget 45 min to an hour to get there.


Lauren said...

Nice! We've been talking about a day trip to Pomaire for some time now but I'm afraid of how many things I'll bring back. I'm a sucker for the bowls and dishes. I've been waiting for doing a weekend trip when the car will already be jam-packed with luggage and there'll be no option to transport excessive pottery back home :) Maybe this long weekend.

I'm sad you can't order that giant empanada. Para dos of course. Or maybe cuatro by the look of it.

Sara said...

So my friend and her boyfriend bought one of those bigger than your face empanadas when we went to Pomaire, then they salivated all the way back to Santiago. They opened it up and found out that it was filled with onions! Apparently, in an attept to cut down on the cost of producing such gigantic food, the creator of said empanada had just left out some key ingredients. Like all of them...

Bystander said...

Esmpanada made with just onion and seasoning are called pequenes.
Usually the best empanadas are served in the humblest places. They use a mud oven. Excellent ones at La Capilla (Cajón del Maipo) open weekends only, and by the police control on the road to Farellones etc. The cheese ones in Los Dominicos craft market are good (not so the meat ones). The most expensive ones (in Jumbo Fri/Sat/Sun only), I can never remember the brand, are good meat ones.
I am told that the meat empanadas (sorry, Eileen) at Ña Matea , Purísima 171, are excellent.

Abby said...

Eileen you have read my mind! I kid you not...this morning I was googling "como llegar a pomaire en bus" because I'm taking my family there on Friday. And here you go, answering my question. Amazing.

My one question was where is Terminal San Borja, and you even answered that!

Do you know how often the buses run approximately?

Anonymous said...

love the candid photos. keep them coming!

im thinking of trying to get some candid shots of awkward tourists in DC... you know the ones with neon fanny packs, FBI hats, and american flag t-shirts. Oh summer in the nation's capital!

Anonymous said...

Artichoke empanadas? Diablos!

Love the photos, especially the beet truck.

Margaret said...

Great shots (as usual!) And I think you really CAN buy those big empanadas. Apparently that's Gallego style (at least that's what my in-laws tell me).
Funny that Sara's giant empanada was a "pequén" (which, of course means "little"). By the way, the very best pequenes are to be found on Tobalaba about a block and a half north of Pocuro (we can never remember the name).

Emily said...

Thanks for the good vibes. I've never actually been to Pomaire despite always wanting to go. Like Lauren, I fear I'd come back with lots of things that I do not even remotely need.

Eileen said...

Sorry Abby, I don't have specifics on bus times, but as I said, if there's no direct bus to Pomaire you can go to Melipilla and take the local bus, though the direct bus would be better/faster/cheaper. I met my friend at noon at los heroes, and got on a bus 4 minutes after getting to San Borja, so maybe it was 12:30, but that was a Sunday. We took Autobuses Melipilla, whose phone number is supposedly 7762060, but who knows! FWIW, you want the buses intercomunales, not the buses interregionales. San Borja is massive, so it takes a while to get to where the busses leave from.

Hope you have fun, and try not to buy too much stuff! Oh, and it's the Semana Pomairina until the 24th, though I didn't see any major signs of it while I was there.

Mamacita Chilena said...

Wow, I think it's been about 12 years since I went and it looks exactly the same! Seeing your pictures is like going into a time-warp!

Eileen said...

@mamacita (can I call you that?) I'd think the photos would give you the heebiejeebies, since they're so very... meh. Anyway, yeah, I've been a bunch of times, and it always looks the same, though they've started making the gasco canisters in terracota, like chanchitos. I guess you put your monedas in and then when you're out of gas, you break it open to go buy more!