Friday, 6 November 2009

Rothera: The Chilean Invasion

Hello all! Welcome to....Rothera, again. Coming on to the end of week 2. Our taxi to Halley has been delayed by weather, missing screws, airport as usual. It looks like I'm going right now, actually. But there's time to post this first.

Ladies and gentlemen, the enemy has been in our midst.

Some of you may know that the Antarctic Peninsula has been claimed by three different countries: Britain, Argentina, and Chile. This week, Rothera has been invaded by one of the rival claimants. Yes, the Chilean Air Force has come to occupy Rothera.

And oh, it was bad from the start. They came in two Twin Otters, ostentatiously performing a fly-by in formation before they landed. Yes, we've got Maverick and Goose here, disrupting our busy airport (we had three flights that day).

And they've been here taking up space for days now. Oh, sure, they're polite and happy, and everything, always smiling and helping out, but we know better. And we're not falling for it.

The other night, they rudely interrupted dinner, banging on glasses and standing up and speaking. They were saying something about "wonderful hosts", "fantastic time here", etc. They had the audacity to present our base commander with a custom-made clock and vintage Chilean wine. And he fell for it! He actually reciprocated with a gift of his own, and everyone clapped. But I'm sure they didn't mean it.

And then, to top it all off, they all came to the Hallowe'en party that night with a large bucket and a pisco sour recipe and served cocktails to all of us until at least 3am. Here's the Commander, mixing up the drinks:

I didn't fall for it, though - I only had two of their drinks. I would't let a good time get between me and a quasi-legitimate border dispute between two nations. Even if I'm not a citizen of either nation.

Hopefully Britain can find a way to prevent such a horrible international incident from happening again.

More general pictures:

...and meanwhile, amidst all this political controversy, evil continues to brew on Jenny Island.


Eva said...

If moss would grow there, I am sure it was about to start....glad you were finally able to leave!

Lauri said...

You just wait till the Finns invade!

-- Lauri