Sunday, November 22, 2009


Ian and I arrived in Santiago this morning around 10am local time, which is currently 5 hours later than Pacific Standard Time. For about two weeks each spring and fall, the two countries are four hours apart, and in the northern summer we are three hours apart, but then we fell back and they sprang forward and here we are. We paid our $260 "Reciprocity Fee" to enter the country (because that's what we charge the Chileans—they only charge an entry fee to citizens of countries who charge them, which are Australia, Canada, Mexico, the US, and, strangely, Albania.). We were met at the airport by the colleague of Ian's who set up this teaching gig and he very kindly took us to the bus station. So far, it's easy to get around here, and my knowledge of Portuguese is getting us by pretty well, but we appreciated the friendly face greeting us anyway.

The flights were relatively uneventful except that somewhere over Central America my iPod decided to skip out on me, because it certainly wasn't anywhere in our bags when we got to the hotel. It's possible that it was just punishing me for being a whiny, stuck-up airplane snob, but it had been slowly sidling away for awhile now (I was getting about 4 hours of playing time on a fully charged battery last time we met). Which is not to say that I am not a whiny, stuck-up airplane snob.

Since I had brought some knitting on the plane (American Airlines 767), I had a tape measure and so we measured the space between the front of my seatback and the back of the one in front of me when both were upright: 24 inches. The seats went back maybe 4 inches. My knees touched the seat in front of me. MY knees. I am pretty average in height, and my legs are short. And they charged $6.00 for a drink. And there was none of British Airways' "Wellbeing in the Air" literature, where you get to learn all about the dangers of Deep Vein Thrombosis. And the video screens were small and inconvenient for most would-be viewers. And where, I ask you, was my complementary toothbrush and eyemask? Yes, even in coach on BA.

Anyway, I eventually took a Tylenol PM and slept about 3 hours in Alexander Technique erectness. And we are earning lots of airline miles to apply to our next trip on BA.

And now I am utterly exhausted, and although I am going to try and keep my eyes open for the next 20 minutes, until the relatively less unforgivable bedtime of 8:00pm, I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Pics tomorrow.


Jan said...

Where/when did you learn Portuguese? (I grew up in Brazil.)

CMT said...

Hi Jan--I learned Portuguese--mais o menos--in Portugal during the winter of '97-'98. I don't know how I'd do in Brazil!