Sunday, May 8, 2011

Deodorant and wine.

Two very essential things to have when living in Santiago and the entirety of my grocery store purchase en route to Grace's apartment.

Alright, I've been horrible at blogging. I understand this entirely. I haven't had a lack of inspiration or a lack of gringa stories. I simply haven't wanted to take the time to post properly. And if you know me at all, then you also realize that I'm a HUGE procrastinator. Without further ado, I'll try to hit all the major updates over the past few weeks.

After a few piscolas my partner in crime, Grace, and I decided that our weekend would not be complete without a trip to the port city of Valpo. Okay, a little piece of advice. DON'T HAVE PISCO PLANNING PARTIES. They usually result in the absence "planning." The next morning, we groggily climbed onto a bus headed towards the sea. We stumbled around the town until we found a less than satisfying hostel and a greasy meal and then preceded to explore the hills and graffiti of the surrounding city. It was fascinating.

And so we deemed this trip "gringa winning"


View from Pablo Neruda's house

I set out on a mission to find a Catholic mass to attend Easter morning. I'm in Chile; so that wasn't difficult. It was a nice service that consisted of some Easter message in Spanish obviously. So basically, I focused on watching the woman beside me, standing when she stood and kneeling when she knelt. Earlier that week, I was blessed by a priest. Which according Texan Southern Baptists probably means I'm going straight to the devil's place. I was sitting in the cathedral in Plaza de Armas observing what I imagined was a Semana Santa mass. After the completion of the mass, most of the congregation went forward for a blessing from the priest. And I, being a curious gringa, watched silently from the side. Until I saw, an older woman staring at me. At this point, I should have started walking away because this usually means I'm about to be asked for directions (which is a whole other issue in itself). But I reassured myself that everything was fine, and I would just respond with the normal "Lo siento, no se nada" or "uh, GRINGA." Well, this woman did in fact approach me, asked me if I wanted a blessing, and then proceeded to drag me to the line in front of the priest. She left me there and then watched in the safety of my previously occupied space on the side of the church. Mortified, I stood in the ever shortening line. When it was finally my turn, I uttered a quick "hola" and then an even quieter "gracias" after my encounter with the priest was over. I survived. His hands didn't burn my forehead, and I wasn't asked for prayers to Mary. I left the church a little holier...

The Place of the Blessing.

We had a beautiful Easter meal with a couple of friends. Afterwards we decorated Easter eggs and then rolled them down a Cerro Santa Lucia attracting much attention from the locals. I think we were endearing, though.

Other Easter Celebrations

Hipster bunny after a few calimochos (wine and coke- trust me- uhmazing)

When one enters Chile, you are given a 90 day tourist visa. So, as I'm waiting for details of my temporary residential visa to come together, I have a tourist visa. In order to extend my visa, I can do one of two things: pay $140 after applying two weeks before my visa expires or make a trip to Mendoza, Argentina. Remember what I previously confessed? I'm a huge procrastinator. So naturally, I waited until the last second to leave for Mendoza (since it was WAY past the time for applying for the extension). I booked the bus ticket for Sunday morning. I would take the 7 hour bus ride, spend the afternoon in Argentina's wine capitol, and then take an overnight bus back to Santiago in order to attend a teaching workshop at 10:30 the next morning. Well, well, well. For some reason, I decided to accompany some friends to the infamous Blondie's club Saturday night. After few Escudos, some dancing, number exchanging, three in the morning came sooner than expected. After the taxi ride home, I crashed on my bed and woke up to the bright sun pouring through my window. My bus left one hour previously. I ran (or rather took the metro) to the bus station and purchased a ticket leaving at 1:40 that afternoon. In the end, I spent a grand total of two hours in Mendoza. Not to mention, I almost missed my second bus since I misread the time on the ticket. I had assumed that I would be sleeping on the way back; however, the flashing camera, the chorus of snores, and the conversationalist beside me prevented that. Despite the longevity of my suffering, the trip resulted in another legal three months in Chile.

In closing

  • It's getting cold here.
  • I've purchased a coat and boots, and I'm searching for cozy leggings tomorrow.
  • My students are fun! And they like me.
  • It's amazing what constant walking and eating veggies will do for your body.
  • I habitually get asked for directions when I'm walking around the city by Chileans young and old. I look like a gringa and clueless. 
  • My cooking is getting better, since it's way cheaper to eat in than go out.
  • I can't stop smiling when I think of where I am. 
  • I have about 6 voicemails on my cellphone because I don't know how to check it.

I love and miss everyone from Texas. Don't forget about me. Come visit me. You may not want to go home.

1 comment:

Ceri said...

I'm so glad you're having such a great time, Katie. :) I like that you smile all the time when you think about where you are. Love that church by the way - huge!