Guess what? I don’t have any photos for you right now. It’s been a week of orientation and learning a new campus and going to class and such. Nothing you’d really care to look at, trust me!
I did go to Policía Internacional this week to register my visa. That place is like the DMV but for immigration. Not even kidding. You show them your papers, you pay, they hand you a number, you wait, and when your number is called, you talk to an mildly unpleasant person who barely looks at you and mostly clicks around a computer. Then you’re legal in the country! Mostly. I still need to get my Chilean ID card. Based on what I’ve heard, that’s a whole other adventure.
Here are a couple of things that I’ve really wondered about this week. These are questions (consultas, in Chilean Spanish) that I have for the Chilean people:
Why is there not toilet paper in the majority of stalls? I don’t mean that the dispensers are always out of toilet paper. I mean that there aren’t dispensers at all. I know that the plumbing is iffy in a lot of places. But does making people grab toilet paper before they enter the stall make them less likely to flush it down the toilet? Was there a crisis of messy bathrooms at some point in Chilean history, and they were forced to reduce dispensers to one or two per bathroom, outside of the stalls?
Also related to sanitation: why isn’t there a soap dispenser at every sink? Why only at each end? Or one in the middle? Or none at all? And why aren’t there paper towels? Toilet paper is not the same. It does not do the job without making a mess. When there are hand dryers, why are fully functional ones so scarce? Why do they only blow air in sporadic, cold gusts? You would think that in a country which generally lacks central heating, and where the winters are indeed chilly, dry hands would be a priority.
Women of Santiago: why are you so stylish? How are you so put-together every single day? How do you walk everywhere in those beautiful high-heeled boots? How do you pull off a cape so well? (Not even kidding. The woman who sat next to me on the metro today was wearing a cape. Like a jacket, but a cape. And she looked fabulous.) Where do you find so many interesting black items of clothing?
I’m going to the mall tomorrow. I’m getting myself some boots. Flat ones. I’ll pass on the cape. I’m pretty practical. And frugal. Which really makes trying to keep up with those women a challenge.
In other news, I’ve lived in this house for a whole week now. I love it. I actually helped out with stuff around the house the other day. You have no idea how that makes me feel more at home.
It’s raining. Which is a bummer because I couldn’t run today (which adds more normalcy to my routine), but could be pretty exciting when the sun comes back out. I’ve heard that the city is gorgeous after the rain washes all the smog and grime away.
Here’s to the weekend! We’ll see what kind of adventures I have for you in the new week.