...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

Friday, August 19, 2005

Varig provides mediocre service

I don´t know what the title of this post means--the computer suggested it in one of those drop-down boxes before I typed anything, which was convenient, because this is just one of those odds and ends posts. Feel free to make the title a metaphor, though, and God DAMN but this keyboard is going to drive me crazy, not because of the Chilean keys but because the t is incredibly sticky.

Speaking of typing, one thing I´ve observed is that Chilean students aren´t taught to type with all their fingers unless they go to secretarial school. I was working on a group project with some girls from Modernidad y Problemas Sociales the other day, and one of my group members, Carina, was hunting and pecking as we told her what to write. I was trying to be patient but after it took her fifteen seconds to find the q I asked if I could type--she and Liza were impressed with how fast I could type, although they had to help me with the grammar, of course. I think typing was one of the few useful things I learned in middle school--I just haven´t had the opportunity to shoot anything with a bow and arrow, I´m afraid.

Ryan asked in the comments of my last post how late the other guests arrived at Yasna´s party. I think Maris, another exchange student, came about fifteen minutes later, another Chilean girl a few minutes later, and then most everyone else within the next twenty to forty minutes. The Latin American concept of time is very different than the North American concept, which is confusing, sometimes. I´m not a very punctual person, like, at all, so it´s nice to not have to worry about it so much, although I still need to be in class on time. Afer Yasna invited me to her party at five, I asked Ambar what time I should really be there. She was like, ¨Well, you better get there at five. You´ll be the first person, but at least you can help her welcome the guests and meet her friends.´´ The first week I was here, Ambar, Carlos and I had a discussion that went something like this, around 8:50:

Ambar: Everybody here arrives late to everything.
Carlos: If someone tells you ´ten,´ they really mean eleven-thirty.
Ambar: North Americans are all obsessed with time and being on time for things. I say, relax!
(pause)
Ambar: So, what are you doing tonight?
Me: I´m going to a tango class I found out about last night at the Piedra Feliz.
Carlos: You know, the tango is a very sensual dance.
Ambar: Don´t listen to him. What time is your class?
Me: Oh, at nine.
Ambar: ARE YOU CRAZY? IT´S ALMOST NINE! YOU DON´T WANT TO BE LATE OR YOU WON´T BE ABLE TO FIND A PARTNER!

It was pretty funny. Tango continues to go well, though, and on Monday Mariah and I are going over to our instructor´s house for dinner and conversation. Fun!

I tried to link to Carla and Kristin´s blogs the other day, but I realized later that both links were broken. You´ll probably notice a pretty sharp decline in the amount of links on my blog, just because I have a hard time writing the HTML on these keyboards. Anyways, here they are: Kristin´s blog is http://www.kristinboehne.blogspot.com, and Carla´s blog is http://www.soylagringa.blogspot.com. I highly recommend this article on FameTracker (http://www.fametracker.com/blue_moons/misc_longoria_t_shirts.shtml)--it made me laugh out loud in the international student computer lab. Amy, I meant to tell you the other day that ´´Hichabod Duff´´ is hilarious, and will now be my permanent name for No-Neck Hillary Duff.

There´s a big-band music festival this weekend in Viña that sounds pretty fun, and we´re going to go to the concerts tonight and Sunday. Saturday night we´re watching the Chilean movie Machuca, then Mariah and I have tango at eleven pm. I´m going to go to a yoga class for the first time ever tomorrow, then church on Sunday and then lunch with an organization that aids Peruvian immigrans in Valparaíso that Yasna, Kristin and I are going to volunteer for. It´s nice to be falling into a schedule.

Peggy, I hope you have a safe trip to Russia and a wonderful, crazy semester there. I´m thinking of you and sending you love. Post your address on your blog when you get the opportunity, okay?

This keyboard really is driving me crazy, so I´ll stop here. I hope everyone has a good weekend!