Thursday, March 14, 2013

Jueves, 14 de Marzo

this morning i woke up and realized that ive finally shrugged off the honeymoon carelessness of my current jouney.  my travels so far have taken me across argentina to a brief (yet flu-ridden) stay in mendoza from which i crossed the border into chile.  this is a good travel tip to future travelers of south america, you dont have to pay the taxes on border crossing if you go overland.  

santiago is incredible.  i was very pleasantly surprised when i got here.  i have this notion to ask myself whether or not i could live in the places i pass through although it does not generally necessitate that i like or dislike a city only how i find it relative to my interests.  santiago is very livable.  the people are cool and the city is very beautiful.  it seems to lack that sense of disorder that binds buenos aires and it is surrounded by this looming view of the andes which seem to call to us.  

i woke up feeling very alive this morning.  inspired.  this is the kind of day where i could disappear into a sketchbook and bottomless cups of tea.  we are leaving tomorrow by car.  oh yeah.. we bought a car :)  1992 subaru loyale.  together we will cross this narrow stretch of beautiful chile first into the list of secret beaches we have acquired along the way and second into the hot atacama desert to meet the national park/border of bolivia.

my spanish has greatly improved since i moved to south america.  it took me a few months to shake off the awkwardness of my accent which was a mix of mexico and pure united states high school-educated gringo but before long i was beginning to recieve compliments that i speak like an argentine.  i like this.  i actually really enjoy the argentine accent and now that i am in chile it is cool to represent a country that hosted me very warmly for the last six months.  now in chile im usually asked if im from buenos aires instead of where are you from?  its nice to blend in a bit and not be immediately pushed into the category of lost and confused foreigner.

a good friend of mine once said that you should learn a new language if for no other reason to read the newspaper.  i dont know why but thats always stuck with me.  i think about him every time i pass by a news stand with large headlines about the death of Hugo Chavez or the celebration of the new pope who is from argentina.

the north is calling us.  i feel it when i look at the mountains and i can only wonder what lied entangled in their beauty.  we will watch the hills of rolling green turn into desert brown and eventually into a flat barren landscape of salt and dust, a gentle reminder that we have traveled very far from home.

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