So I arrived in Santiago on Friday morning with the address of a guy I had gotten in contact with through a Chilean girl that I had met and talked to for about 20 minutes at the AIESEC Thanksgiving we held for international students. So I felt solidly prepared with this plan.
Luckily I successfully navigated to his office and Pancho is extremely nice, como un paisa de Colombia. He did inform me that his niceness is normally unheard of in Santiago, as people here are considered cold for Latinos (but he is from the South of Chile). I´ll have to explore this further, but there have definitely been less outright displays of interest, help, and kindness in the short time that I´ve been here, in comparison to Colombia.
It´s definitely not like my friend Tommy who is currently in the Dominican Republic: I´m being stared at and studied as I write this by no less than 4 dominicans.
People here just glance at me for a second longer than normal, but gringo spottings are a fairly regular occurence for them, giving them no incentive to inquire as to what I´m doing here or how I came to be so large in size. It is nice to be semi-comparable in size so less taxistas ask me how much I weigh, etc., but I do kind of miss being a novelty, and all of the people that I met this way.
Anyways, a for brevity´s sake, a list of things I accomplished on my first day:
-I´m living in a house with Chilean artist-hippies, we´ve already bonded over our mutual love of Andrew Bird. One other gringa, a lawyer from NYC, is staying in the house right now. The house is great, 10 minutes walking from a metro stop, has 2 little porches, with a hammock and birds, and 2 cats. I think it will be a good fit. The owner of the house, Anita, speaks English because she lived in Canada, London, and Virginia (her dad was a diplomat), but I told her to speak to me only in Spanish. When I arrived they were cleaning up from a documentary screening they just had…I think I will meet lots of interesting people living here.
-I got a cell phone
-I got a plug adaptor
-Learned how to take the metro to my university, walked around the campus and ate lunch
-Then I got invited to the beach (Algarrobo, just kidding that is not what I swam in, although I did see it– one of the biggest swimming pools in the world, I swam in the Pacific) for the weekend with Pancho and his friends, and I figured after all that progress, why not?
The beach was extremely relaxing and fun, it also reminded me more of Colombia when you could flag down a bus where ever you wanted, and when the water stopped working in the whole block of houses where we were staying.
Sorry for the long entry! There´s no internet at my house, so some posts might be like this. I figure it´s probably a good idea for me to disconnect for awhile.
Sorry for my less than stellar writing. I am currently in the stage where my sentence constructions are both awkward in English and Spanish.
Specific Note to my father:
DAD, you ¨geek me out¨when you sign things Michael, I can more easily identify you when you sign things DAD, Thanks DAD for signing it DAD from now on, now I will always know that you are my DAD 🙂