I’m in the middle of an empty park at nine in the morning. Cars and buses flood by on either side, and below me thousands of people are packed into subway trains. A city of six million people, all thinking, speaking, existing in a different language and culture; yet here I am, writing in English, alone. Not exactly alone… The signs across the street read “Pepsi,” “Shoe Express,” and “Outlet Jeans”… I guess it hasn’t really sunk in that I’m in a different country yet. Besides, it’s not as if I don’t get lost back home.
Yup, I’m supposed to be in a Sociology class right now (brilliant of me to sign up for a class at 8:30 on Monday mornings), but I took the wrong train and decided it took me too far out of the way to bother trying to make that class. I was planning on coming this way to meet Emily, anyway. So I got off the metro and am sitting in the sun on a park bench (otherwise I’d be pretty cold; it was 35 degrees Fahrenheit at 7AM. Give it a couple hours and it’ll be almost 70 degrees).
Anyhow, other exciting events:
I was robbed recently (wild applause!). My best guess is that it happened when Emily and I were crammed in the metro for half and hour, because I somehow didn’t notice someone unzipping the who pockets of the bag under my arm to get to my wallet… the unfortunate thing is that it was the first day I had carried my wallet anywhere other than the inside pocket of my coat (I wasn’t wearing it that day), and it was the most I’d ever carried in my wallet since coming to Chile. I always store my money in different places, but I had the cash allowance that I’d recently received in there. So that was fun. At dinner that night with Tono and Paz (the 26-year-old twins), Tono’s response was, “Welcome to Chile!” (They occasionally make exclamations in English.) They proceeded to tell me that the best thieves in the world are Chilean and that they go all over the world, getting rich from it . Susana, my host mother, told me that once when she was robbed, she’d been holding her purse and someone cut into it with a knife to remove her wallet without alarming her. Crazy.
And, since great things come in threes, my last epic event is that Suzy (our midget dog) fell into the pool. A cat was scaling the wall in our backyard. Charles and I were watching with amusement as Suzy bravely protected the house from this cat that was bigger than she is. We turned back to our work, only to hear a splash shortly afterward. Sure enough, we turned to look, and a huge rat with even huger eyes hopped out of the pool, ran by us, shaking water as she went, and continued barking at the cat. Hilarious, although less so when we found out that she really shouldn’t get wet and that now she had to be bathed and dried with a hair dryer. Still, we couldn’t help but laugh; this dog is bizarre.
Sooo all this, and I’m sick ;) I’m not sure if it’s allergies to something new or what, but we’ll see how things go this week. Luckily, I have a whole network of awesome people to help me out when I need it!