Thursday, March 30, 2006

Funny how certain times in your life people seem to notice something
different and start saying the same thing to you -
Kind of like that "He-asked-his-doctor-about-Cialis"
commercial. You know, good stuff like: "You seem different-did you
change your hair? Have you been working out?"

Which is better than hearing "you know, the whole office has noticed
your um, (looking down at the floor, clearing throat, then looking
quickly at the ceiling)...YOU KNOW, and like the commercial says, if it
has been more than 4 hours, you should ask your doctor about that
too..."

Granted, there is something to be said for listening to, and
responding to feedback. That is, in a way other than with slamming
doors, hijacking buses, hurling unopened christmas presents, or
swearing never to take your ungrateful girlfriend back to Medieval
Times "3-Dollar-Mead" Night.

A few of you wrote back expressing concern about the tone of my recent
entries, i.e. cynical, jaded - okay, call me old fashioned, but what
about expressing a fantasy of clobbering well-meaning but unimaginative
people in the skull with a large hardened cricket bat seems cynical or
jaded?

I also heard bored, and even bratty got mentioned (something about
living a life of travel and leisure and complaining about it-I don't
know what they were thinking).

I so appreciate your concern, but let me assure you that there is no
reason to worry.

Then again, I did not hear from a lot of you. Come on people. Where's
the invasive, presumptuous criticism disguised as loving concern? You
must not have older sisters.

Okay, okay, contrary to popular belief I really can be serious, that
is, serious longer than it takes to ask for money.

In reality, things could not be better. I have been staying at the
beautiful home of my friend Hervey which is basically like an
oasis-pools, palms trees, beautiful women everywhere (large chilean
family with lots of cute cousins), and they have done nothing but take
great care of me and make me feel at home,

still, to put your minds at ease that I am having fun and feeling good-
and because I want to talk about it- let me tell you about a sample day
here:

On Wednesday, I took a trip to the recently constructed U.S Embassy
here in Santiago. What an experience.
Santiago-,um,-ans refer to it as "La Fortaleza" which translates to
"America's highest, strongest walls since the Mexican border."

I can proudly announce that to date, zero (0) Mexicans have made it
across.

Well, that was disheartening. Pretty much all the criticisms you can
lay against the US, i.e. being an unresponsive and isolationist
buraeucracy are manifested there, in spades. You can't call in, there
are no email addresses, you can only send faxes or show up in person.

Even if you are a US citizen you have to wait in a big line and they
only let one person in at a time and once you get in, you have to wait
and wait and wait. Granted, the wait time turned out to be worth it- I
made all sorts of new friends, and not just with the hot girls who were
in the Green Card line.

"You know, Constancia, or is it Florencia? oh well, no matter my
Chilean princess. Can I tell you that between a girl of
your...talents, and a man of my vision, we could make your dreams of
being a Green Card holding Hollywood actress come true. What, you have
an apartment nearby?"

Well, now exactly, but the thought crossed my mind. Hey, a boy can
dream.

What nobody told me that a jaunt to the Embassy would be so good for
networking. We actually went to get Hervey's tax questions answered,
but while I was there a woman gave me her number and this business-y
guy (light blue oxford, braided belt, dock shoes, need I say more) gave
me his card to send me his resume. My charm must have shown through
the three days growth, the crazy hair, and the white running socks with
black shoes I was wearing at the time (for the record the first and
last time ever, to you style police). Not bad, eh?

If you are speed reading this, or do not want to know the realities of
my life of leisure, skip the next three paragraphs.

Wnce we left to enjoy the perfect warm and sunny day, we walked around
santiago (interesting architecture here), went to Starbucks (all over
the place here, and even in chile full of yuppies, but on the bright
side finally a decent macchiatto), went to this sweet park in Santiago
where you can hike up into this super cool old Spanish fortress, took a
bunch of photos, had beer at lunch in this cool plaza near the art
college (i.e. plaza filled with hot art students), saw the state
palace, took a siesta, read part of a book, jumped in the pool, had
dinner with Paula and Hervey, watched March of the Penguins, made plans
for the next day to see the woman I met at the embassy, made plans for
the day after with my chilean friend Sebastian I met in valparaiso and
had partied with the night before, and slept great.

Not bad, huh? well, it gets better. If you don't want to delete this
email or add me to your "this is spam" list yet, keep reading:

The next day I went to Isla negra, on the coast, to see the house of
Pablo Neruda. Apparently winning the Nobel Prize and being a national
icon scores you a really sweet place on the beach. I took a bunch of
photos, wrote a lot, tried to put my feet in the water and succeeded in
getting my entire jeans wet (rogue wave), and was totally into the "wow
I can't believe I can just take off on a Thursday and spend the whole
day going to the beach and screwing off" experience.


Okay, this is getting boring. I did end up interviewing for a few jobs
here in Santiago, since things were going so well I figured why not
stick around. Well, that will wait until next time...

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