My apartment, sunday brunch. I will for sure miss that when i go home (brunch was started to eat american-style breakfast in a city that thinks it’s “posh” to do so, and you end up spending at least $20 for a simple breakfast, delicious as it may be).
This week we had an egg bake (peppers, spinach and onions with a potato crust), biscuits (olive oil yum), gluten free pancakes, colonial ham (a great sub for bacon) and mimosas.
A bunch of this is in a really famous cemetery in buenos aires with evita’s grave and then also a bookstore that was a theater and of course during the Argentina and Germany mundial final game. We barely saw a thing bec of the crowd but it was fun. Then also a steak dinner at a famous “parrilla” restaurant.
I’ve been placed in spain, it’s a small town (25,000 people) near Sevilla and jerez de la frontera. I’m super excited about the placement, it’s a good area, and I get to live in either Sevilla or Jerez, both of which seem good options. (Sevilla is about an hour away and a large 700,000 people city with a metro. Jerez is 20 minutes away with 200,000 people and a train that goes directly to Lebrija, but is also really close to Cadiz which is on the water)
I have to get the visa this month and as we speak I’m currently avoiding it. I have to get multiple things legalized and stamped and I’m planning on trying to ask for it next week, when I return from Buenos Aires.
I’m not sure I’ll go to San Pedro de Atacama but everyone tells me it’s the best place to go in Chile, it is like no other place in the world. I’m thinking of going but like everything it depends on how much work I have this month.
I was listening to lana del rey in the bus today and thinking desperately about how i would love love love to be driving and singing along to it.
And I thought, I will be. In about 2 months.
And then i kept thinking, but I will only be home doing these things for one month, tops. Why?
Because, again, I will pack up my life (3rd time in 1 year and 2 months) and move to another country (second time ever) for an undetermined period of time. The program lasts til next june but i can and may stay longer, at least another year if it goes well.
And if I don’t stay…. staying home (in the USA) seems so attractive right now but I don’t know if I will have the guts to actually stay at home for a long period of time and get a “real” job again.
I miss my life in the US but it’s something that felt stifling when i was actually there. I am really looking forward to things being “easy” again (Aka all in my native language) and knowing where things are and how to get places.
But a large part of my “struggle” in Chile has not been the language, it was learning how to navigate a city and go through life in a new place. Language was of course a large part of it but in the end, it was finding that Indian place I like, where I get my groceries and my favorite bars and yarn stores.
And it has taught me something essential… I’m not really a city person. I live in a suburban area in CT and I think I would love to live in Hartford or something similar but Santiago with it’s 46% of Chile all in one place is way too much for me on a regular basis. I went to visit a friend in her city of about 200,000 people and I feel so much better there, less overwhelmed and frustrated.
In Spain, I will probably not (likely) be placed in a city or at least directly in one. I’m looking forward to the change but it does make my 9 weeks left here difficult to think about. I’m going to Argentina in two weeks but then after that it’s going to be hard to continue to be focused. It’s like having senioritis, a friend said.
I would give anything to be in a target store though for sure. Soon!
the weather throughout the world is extremely volatile. I think we just like to think it’s stable - last week about 40 degrees F all week and super cold all day and night, plus a lot of rain.
This week, averages of 70 degrees F.
There is a man who has five poodles (minis) that walks them down my street, all off leash and he walks too fast so they have to run with him.
There was a protest that started at 8am outside my window. I don’t know what for but they are very passionate about whatever it is. (something to do with professors, and lack of pay, but really what else is new in Chile?)
El Mundial (the world cup) has created a great sense of excitement in the country. They won the first game against Australia and now there’s another game against Spain on Wednesday, which will be interesting. It’s almost like christmas - canceled classes and everything closes early!!!
A bit ago, I posted some plans before I left, and now, I’m officially at least going to Buenos Aires! In july for just a couple days.
Today is absolutely freezing and all but my morning and night class were canceled, so I went to lunch with a friend in the Korean/arabic/chinese/cheap clothes neighborhood which is quickly becoming my favorite place (fabric, chinese supermarkets, brown sugar and fruits and veggies along with some cheap clothing makes for a good neighborhood).
We got gyros which were awesome and also went to a little korean cafe after, called “habia una vez” it translates to “once upon a time.” We talked and watched the TV that warned us that a huge rain storm was coming and I lamented that I didn’t want to go to class if I was going to have to wear rainboots. I went home… and my class was canceled (sick student).
This week the Mundial or the world cup starts…. and I’m very excited for it. The first game with Chile is on Friday, and I expect to be at a friend’s watching the game then watching people go crazy in the plaza below. And then this way, I can make someone at the party walk me home after. It certainly will be an interesting couple weeks!
this city isn’t prepared for it at all! my building sounded like everything was leaking, and when it rained a lot it sounded like the roof was just having water poured over it.
I was luckily enough to be home in time before the rain, I was home at about 5pm after the grocery store last night. Soon that won’t be the case, starting a new class next week that’s 730-9pm Mon/Tues. Argh.
I’m officially going to Buenos Aires with my friend in the beginning of July! We just bought the tickets last night. I just got my Chilean tax return, which took so long I nearly forgot about it.
This city is quite impressive after the rain. I walked to work through the “green” in the middle of a highway/busy street. It was gorgeous and clear but I could see even as the day began (later here than most western countries, like 9am is the worst commuting time), the pollution was rising up again, I saw clouds of smog rolling in from outside of the city.
My student told me today about bicyclists who are trying to show the city that they need to have more paths and areas for bicycling for serious commuting. He said they do it regularly to show the authorities that there are a lot of them and they need more space. Interesting, but Santiago is nearly 45% of the population of Chile living in one place.
I am sick but my afternoon class was canceled, but I was apply to teach my other afternoon/evening classes.
First, on the way to my 4pm class, the bus I was on picked up three young guys, maybe Ben’s age (18 now!) with guitars and a tambourine. It’s super common to get people playing music on the bus but sometimes it’s annoying guy singing along to the portable radio he has or sometimes the kids with guitars are terrible. But whatever it is, i know it always takes some guts.
These kids were awesome! They played a couple older Beatles songs, Please please me, Twist and Shout, hold your hand, etc. They did great and I gave them money, which I normally only do if the people who play REALLY impress me. The front of the bus was dancing in their seats and clapping and even made the request for Twist and Shout. Their english wasn’t that good but they even had the harmonies. I was impressed.
The second bus on the way home is realllllly long. I have to go to another class after and sadly, I spend 1.5 hours traveling. Most of the trip, a baby was sitting with it’s mom, kind of just looking around. It eventually made friends with an older woman who was pushed against the mother as the bus got more and more crowded and the woman and the baby laughed all the way through the centro of Santiago. For this trip, I was sitting on the wheel well of the bus, because there weren’t any seats.
Initially, I was going to fly to the US then visit for a bit, then fly back to Chile for a couple weeks. But, during that time, I would be paying 2X the amount of rent but not really working much more. So, I just changed my flight to the 30th of August, I will be coming home on the 31st, the sunday of Labor day weekend, and then leaving to Spain sometime around the 18th.
Now, the issue is that I have a room full of stuff (clothes, etc) that has been inherited or given to me or bought or what have you, and I need to fit it into two suitcases and two carry ons, and of course pair it down! I think it’ll be fine, and but the thing is I’m planning on bring back wine and pisco and other various chilean items for sharing (alfajores yum).
It’s downright freezing in Santiago now. Ok, so it’s actually like just 50 degrees and maybe 30 at night but there’s a HUGE difference that makes it difficult. There’s not any indoor heating.In one of my classes, I wore my coat the whole time last week. I normally wear 500 layers because it gets warm during the day, but still most of the buildings also have no insulation so it’s warm/hot, then freezing at night. Oh well, I have to learn to walk into my house and keep my 500 layers on.
Right now, I’m sitting in my room as the sun goes down and it’s Freezing! Last week it rained allllll day wednesday and luckily we had a holiday so I didn’t have to go to class in the rain but the next day, the andes suddenly appeared and then, it was cold because of the snow on the andes effecting the temp in Santiago!
3 more months and I’ll be home for a bit, and until then, it’s lots of tea and cooking with the oven to keep the house warm.