¡Hola a todos! Last weekend I went to Pichilemu, a small, coastal surfing town about three and half hours from Santiago (I love that you can pretty much take a bus anywhere here.) It was a much needed retreat from the city. The people were friendly, said hello in the streets, the pace was slow, and I didn’t have to worry about my stuff getting stolen. It reminded me that a lot of the characteristics of Santiago are more so characteristics of a big city, and less so of Chile or Chileans.
I needed it. It was a bit of a rough week, just feeling sort of out of place, a little beaten by the aggressiveness and indifference of the city. Everything that I hold closest to me is really far away, and sometimes the loneliness catches up to you. Or you catch up to it. I’m not sure.
Either way, it’s lifting a little bit. Pichilemu was a nice head change, and again, being near the Pacific was like getting a hug from an old friend. I grew up in Huntington Beach, California—a.k.a Surf City—and I never learned how to surf, but I did spend a lot of time in the ocean. (And actually, now that I think about it, we kind of did get a hug. While my friend Rheanna and I were sitting on the beach, absorbed in conversation and people watching, a wave snuck up on us and drenched us from the waist down. Thank you for saying hello, Pacific.)
Well, it’s officially spring break. Tomorrow, we are flying down to southern Chile, where we will visit the island of Chiloé, the lake town of Puerto Varas, Bariloche (Argentina), and Valdivia. Every one I’ve spoken with has said that the south is so different from Santiago, and I am so excited to explore.
I won’t be bringing my computer down with me, so I might be a little late checking in next week. But I’m sure I will have a lot to share when I get back. :)
Random side note that I was thinking about yesterday: I haven’t heard a single person say adios since I’ve been here. Chileans say chau, nos vemos (see you later), or te vaya bien—a shortened version of espero que te vaya bien, the literal translation of which is I hope it goes well for you.