...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Alive!

I didn´t really want to start my first Chilean post all, ´´Well, here I am in Chile!´´ like a doof, but, well, here I am in Chile. Incidentally, did you know that keyboards manufactured for Spanish-language speakers have different layouts? It´s true. The letters are all the same--QWERTY and all that--but they´ve got a special ñ key, which is just all kinds of cool. The problem is, it´s right where I reach with my pinky to make a semicolon, and that´s my favorite punctuation mark. Plus, the dashes and quotations semicolons and tabs and shifts are all arranged differently. It´s very disorientating--it took me like five minutes to sign into my webmail account, because I kept making this funky little letter by accident: ç. It´s always the little things, you know? (Oh, plus there´s a ¿ key. It shares a button with ¡, at the right most end of the number row.)

The flight(s) were pretty uneventful; as it turned out, Carla, Mariah, and Julia and I were all travelling together from Portland to Dallas/Forth Worth, then Alexis met us there and we flew to Santiago. I was glad I didn´t have to navigate the airports alone. Carla and I seem to have hit it off pretty well, yay. I saw more cowboy hats in the Dallas airport than I expected.

This afternoon we met the rest of the estadounidenses--we´re forty, in all, which is more than I expected--breakfasted, rested, lunched, then went to see the fantastic Rodin exposition at the Museo de Bellas Artes. We hit some of the highlights of Santiago on the drive there, like the Casa Moneda, the government buildings, etc. Downtown Santiago reminded me of downtown Portland, with the buildings and the park blocks, but Santiago was much bigger, with more pollution and palm trees.

The Chileans seem very cosmopolitan, judging from the way they´re dressed--the uniform for the women seems to be a long dark peacot or dress jacket and a fluffy scarf knotted around the neck in the European style.

Someone´s waiting to use the hotel computer, so I´ve got to go. Until tomorrow, ¡buenas noches! (Gotta love that upside-down exclamation key!)