First of the first impressions.
Santiago Travel Blog› entry 3 of 19 › view all entries
I feel bad writing my first Chile entry when I literally have just gotten here, but I think I probably have enough material...
So getting here was a frazzle. I got to the airport with plenty of time, found out my bags were the right weight for the old limits, but overweight for Delta's new limits, but otherwise life was good. Then the plane was delayed. And delayed. All the other flights to Atlanta were on time, millions of them in fact, but mine was delayed so long that I had no hope of making my connection (there is only one flight to Chile a day). I proceeded to think up some story to get sympathy to be put on one of the fully booked flights, but in the end I didn't need to use one. I sort of teared up and the gate agent bumped me to the top of the standby list on the grounds that I had an important connection to make. So I was on a flight that had a chance of making it to Atlanta in time, but then it was delayed. When I finally made it to Atlanta, with the newly changed gate number in hand (thanks Dad!) I had 10 minutes to get from B to E. But I made it, and ended up in a seat next to a fellow AU-er. My luggage made it as well, and at 9-ish the next morning I met Senora Zamora, my host mother. What a trip. She is very polished, but also quite frazzled.
AU doesn't want there to be more than one student in each host family, so we don't have a chance to speak English, so I have to keep quiet about Kelsey, the student from Trinity College also living here. Sra. Zamora is saving up to pay for a hip replacement, so I think a little white lie to AU is reasonable. I think we will get along just fine without jumping into English too much, and it is nice to have another young person around the house. Sra. Zamora has 4 children and raised them mostly by her self. They all live nearby and I will meet them on Sunday. Susana, the girlfriend of the youngest son drove with Sra. Zamora to the airport and evidently is over quite a lot. She is very nice and speaks a bit of English so she has been very helpful with translation. She wants to hook me up with her 28 year old brother. I am trying to translate a way to politely decline...
Kelsey has the larger room, but mine has a private bathroom. I really like my little crimson closet. It will work just fine. The whole house is quite cold, and my shower this morning had pretty unreliable hot water. I think I might not have waited long enough for the hot water heater to gear up. Sra. Zamora has the TV on almost all the time, on the other side of the house but well within hearing distance. Sometimes it is Spanish music videos, sometimes telenovelas (Spanish soap operas), right now it is Law and Order. It is going to get old soon, but I will live.
The rumors are true about the instant coffee, but I am ashamed to admit that with milk and sugar, it is growing on me. Sra. Zamora made fried stuffed potatoes for lunch today and they were pretty divine. She also makes a sticky rice that has green peppers in it that is very tasty. The balsamic vinegar tastes like soap, so I am going to have to figure out some other way to do salad dressings. The bread from the grocery store is divine, and there are about 5 different breeds of avocados here. Hmmm.
PS- I live in THE COOLEST neighborhood. Ok, so there is a Subway, Blockbuster and Domino's Pizza within walking distance, but there are also at least 8 thrift shops (which all seem to have a huge collection of neon colored ski-overalls, I can't wait to rock those!) Several middle eastern lunch places, bakeries, cafes and bars. It is just so darn cute. I also am about 5 minutes away from a major subway hub, making my commute to school SUPER easy. I think I have reached my zenith of freak-out, and it is an acceptable level, so I am not worried.