...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, October 07, 2005

Without a trace

Somehow, in the five minutes between getting into a colectivo on the corner of Alvarez and Agua Santa last night and getting out at my stop, I lost my document holder with my identification, money, and miscellaneous cards and notes. I know for sure that I had it with me after I boarded the colectivo and closed the door, because I remember taking out a two thousand peso bill to pay the driver. Then there was a little bit of confusion as I searched for a fifty peso coin to give him so that he could give me an even fifteen hundred in change (the Agua Santa-bound colectivos recently raised their prices by fifty pesos, so after 11pm it costs 550 pesos to ride, or about a dollar). I stuffed the change, a five-hundred peso coin and a thousand peso bill, into my change purse instead of putting the bill into the document holder, which I must have dropped without realizing it. When I got out of the colectivo, I was immediately like, ´´Oh, shit!´´ and searched my purse and pockets. No luck. So, I waited at my stop and flagged down every colectivo that passed by, hoping to catch the same driver on his return trip down Agua Santa. When he finally passed by about twenty-five minutes later, he said that he hadn´t seen it. He waited and the other passengers waited patiently, for which I´m grateful, while I searched the seats, the cracks in between the seats, the floor of the colectivo, but it was all for nought.

It´s a sucky situation and I´m pissed at myself for being so absent-minded as to drop something important like that in a colectivo. As much as it sucks, though, I was lucky in several ways: I didn´t lose my pase escolar, my school ID card and bus pass; I didn´t lose my Chilean identity card, which due to laziness and poor timing I still haven´t gone to the Registro Civil to pick up; I didn´t lose my passport or a photocopy of my passport; I didn´t have my credit cards in the document holder; I only lost about six thousand pesos (twelve dollars). Six thousand pesos is a fair amount and I could have done a lot with it, but it´s not like I had just made an ATM withdrawal or anything.

The moral of the story is, be careful. I was lucky I didn´t lose anything irreplaceable or extremely valuable, and now I know I´ll definitely be more careful about my things.

In happier news, Ronald and I went out to lunch today after class. I think he´s probably my best Chilean friend. Actually, we were going to meet another woman, Viviana, to talk about a project we´re all working on together for Moral Social, but she called to cancel; something came up that she has to deal with, and she´s not even going to be able to go to the Ciencias Religiosas congreso this weekend in Temuco, about twelve hours south of here. The congreso sounded really fun to me--all the Ciencias Religiosas students of the Catholic universities from around Chile are getting together to give presentations, debate, and do some touristy things--and to tell the truth I tried to meterme--insert myself--in the group that was going to go, but without success. Now that Viviana´s had to cancel, I thought about asking Ronald if I could take her place, but I decided against it. It´s too short notice (they leave today around 7:30pm and don´t get back until Tuesday morning) and I´ve already made plans for the weekend that I don´t want to cancel. Plus, I don´t want to be varsa (a person who pushes social boundaries) with the Ciencias Religiosas crowd; since I´m not officially a part of the Institute, I don´t know if it would be appropriate for me to take part in that kind of activity. It would be one thing if Ronald had suggested it, but I would have felt weird asking to go along and possibly putting him in the uncomfortable position of having to say no.

Anyways, this weekend looks like it´ll be pretty busy as it is: Saturday afternoon Kristin and I are having tea with our surrogate Chilean grandparents then going to flute concert with them. There´s also tentative plans of playing poker at Pamela´s house--she´s a Chilean friend of Jake´s who we met a couple weeks ago. If the poker doesn´t happen I´ll probably go to the Piedra for Saturday-night tango, and the tangueros are all getting together again Sunday evening at a different place in Valparaíso. If it all comes together like we hope, Sunday afternoon we´re going to the sand dunes for a picnic with Chilean friends.

I hope everyone back at Lewis & Clark is having a good Fall Break!

Memorable quotes:

Jon: ´´Can you put scotch in beer?´´ (Note: As it turns out, you can, and it tastes better than you might imagine.)

Mariah: ´´Bloch makvat...that´s how you say toothpaste...in Russian.´´

Carla: ´´I miss being affectionate with my friends. It doesn´t seem like Chileans hug as much as we do in the US.´´
Ronald: ´´What? No! I´m super affectionate.´´
Carla: ´´Well, I know Chileans kiss when they greet each other, but it´s not quite the same.´´
Ronald: ´´Group hug! Right now!´´

A North American girl (overheard): ´´I miss the Napolean Dynamite culture we have in the US. Here, if you say something the way Napolean Dynamite says it, the Chileans don´t understand that that´s funny.´´

A North American guy, describing Mendoza, Argentina to a North American girl in the international student office: ´´The girls there are so hot. They´re so much better looking than Chilean girls. And the guys are hot, too. I mean, I´m not gay, but I know when a guy´s good-looking. I´m telling you this for your benefit: the guys are hot. Oh, and make sure you go to the park. Those Argentinians really know how to make a park.´´