26 March 2011

Time or Lack Thereof

In Chile, time is different. I often feel more than a little lost in the constant flow, which seems simultaneously to lope past slower than a Milodon (ancient giant sloth/mascot of Puerto Natales) and to suddenly sneak up behnd me and pounce. Things may happen that very second ("Hey, want to go on a drive in the city? Ok, we're leaving!") or they may never happen at all. Al tiro o nunca, ¿quien sabe?

Instead of a clock, I feel as though I am marking time with meals. Desayuno, almuerzo, once, cena, repeat. And with coffee and tea. Each passing phase of the day is punctuated with a tecito or cafecito, each new phase opens with the caffeine they contain. And then on top of that I drink mate to keep up with my students. I will return to the States with a massive caffeine addiction.

Small things seem so big here. My goal today? Go buy some fruit at the supermarket and take a walk on the waterfront. And find my laundry. That's it. Those were my goals last Saturday, too. Small steps to big changes, I suppose. The quiet life in Patagonia is rubbing off on me. Before I left, I thought I wanted to live in a big city for a while, just to experience it. Now I see just how deeply my Western roots go and how much I love country life.

Puerto Natales is beginning to feel like home.

Edit: So remember how I was saying the other day that I was feeling culture shock? I must be acclimating a little bit at least, because I just walked into the kitchen where my "brother" Nelson is literally going at a side of extremely recently living beef with a dull hack saw and my first thought was "Where are the spoons again?" and not "WT-flying-F IS HE DOING?!"

Baby steps.

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