Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dirty Socks, Dirty City

Well, it's been a while since I wrote, but at long last, I've finally made it here to Santiago, Chile, where I have been for the past 5 days. When I arrived at the Santiago airport at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 21st, I was faced with a few obstacles. After a long and sleepless 10 hour flight, an all-night southward burn that would put me one step closer to the "ends of the earth", complete with flight transfers, delays, and a quick run across the Atlanta airport to catch my international flight in time, I was exhausted. No condition to wait in an hour-long line to pay my $100 "entry fee" into the country, but skipping that part was not an option.

When I finally made it to the baggage claim in Santiago airport, I discovered that only one of my bags had made it to Chile with me... the one with all of my "outdoor" gear like coats, fleeces, gloves, hat, etc. Which is good because its winter down here... but all my changes of clothes... socks, "undergarments", shirts, etc. had been left behind in Baltimore, Atlanta? Who knows where?

Well, I spent 3 days in the same jeans and navy blue sweater, touring the city, hiking up a mountain, going to a Chilean party, and last but not least, to class, before Delta finally decided to kindly deliver my long-lost bag to the hostel where I'm staying for the next week or so before heading to Patagonia (I got my assignment and will definitely be at a school teaching in Punta Arenas).

In the name of keeping this short and sweet, I am going to resolve to update this thing more frequently. I'll end by saying that Santiago, I discovered, is one of the top most polluted cities in the world... it is winter down here... a wet, rainy kind of cold that clings to you all day and doesn't go away until you are bundled up in bed at night. Our classrooms don't have heat and I've spent the past five days with bone cold hands and a runny nose. I am staying in a "bare bones" hostel... and quite frankly, I haven't been quite so happy in ages.

Will la rubia return home in December? Vamos a ver...