|Here I am back in Santiago! It feels very strange to be back in my host family's apartment with the same mental cat, Josefina (who is now much calmer because they got her fixed, FINALLY), the same bed, the same stray dogs wandering outside the condominium complex (BEWARE!!) and the same house smell that I remember from two years ago.|
I flew to Santiago in a daze from Buenos this afternoon. I shared a cab with an Australian guy and we both just sat there talking about how shitty we felt, ha. Getting on the plane, I still hadn't slept and was feeling down, and by the time I got to Chile, my whole journey just felt surreal and far-away. As I drove from the airport to Las Condes, the neighborhood in Santi where my ex-host fam lives, I didn't recognize anything we passed. The city seemed cleaner somehow, newer -- I seem to remember more dirty buildings and people in the streets. As we passed by palm trees and office buildings and the shocking purple Andes, I thought, how can ANYONE not think this city is beautiful? It really is a unique place, anyway.
I fell asleep in the cab and when we arrived at Chiu Chiu, at the old apartment complex, I was totally weirded out, in a good way! Everything looks exactly how I remember it. I lugged my suitcases up the three flights of stairs to departamento 302 and greeted Margarita, my host madre. She is the same as the last time I saw her -- smiling, smelling like smoke, wearing heels around the house. Love it. I laid in bed and read my book (Anjos e Demonios, a Dan Brown book in Portuguese, whee), took a bit of a nap, then greeted Isabel, Marg's daughter, when she came back.
Last time I saw Isabel she was 8 and sort of bratty -- there was a series of unfortunate incidents involving her stealing chocolates from my room, asking me why I never made my bed, lighting things on fire, etc. -- but she seems so smiley and well-adjusted now. Could be a ruse, but let's hope not. One difference is that she has met her father -- she never knew who he was till last year -- and now spends lots of time with him, so that probably has a positive influence on her attitude.