A lot has changed since I left the hostel. It was constantly a social scene where I was able to meet new people all the time. The only problem is, all the friends I made have either moved on in their travels or returned to their home countries.
It’s pretty remarkable how the timing worked out for me finding a place to live. When I first booked my stay at the hostel, I chose a random amount of nights – 11, to be exact. I had gone to see a few apartments in that time, but none of them came across as very appealing. I was set to view another apartment at 8pm just before my last night in the hostel. I was really crossing my fingers and hoping it would be a good fit!!
So yes, I moved in the next day (Amazing! Praise the Lord!). This was the strangest move I’ve ever done. I pulled my two suitcases behind me and my new roommate asked “Algo más?” No, this is everything! It took me about 30 minutes to officially unpack and settle in. All I had to do when I got to the building is have them scan my passport and now I have a key and a new home! I don’t think it would ever be that easy in the states.
The apartment is simple, but nice. It feels comfortable, and we have everything we need, plus a lady who cleans once a week. My roommate is Chilean, 30 years old, very nice, and does not speak a lot of English! We have the most broken Spanglish conversations, it’s hilarious. But we are also both excited about the chance to practice our second languages. Our first night of actual conversation was messy, full of laughter and crinkled brows, and left us both exhausted. I’m sure neither of us would want someone observing our communication at this point.
As far as the Spanish is going, there’s some new vocabulary I’ve picked up and a few things I’ve been able to understand when people have talked to me. However, it still feels like I’m walking around the city with a bit of a handicap because I just get so lost in translation! I found a school that offers Spanish courses today and will hopefully be able to start taking classes soon!
I also started teaching English classes this week. It is a completely different environment, and most of my classes so far are one-on-one. They are all business professionals, so I hope I know how to effectively reach them! One of my students is a much older man with a very important job at the main bank here in Santiago, and as we got to know each other in our first session, he laughed at almost everything I told him about myself. You play soccer? You just moved to Chile? You’ve never felt an earthquake? You think driving in Santiago is scary? And he laughed and laughed and laughed. At least I’m apparently amusing.
One of the things I’m not so much a fan of is that heating systems are not common here. I’m in a perpetual state of being cold, and I’m really reconsidering how far into the winter I may be staying next year. I don’t exactly miss Texas temperatures in August, but I would give anything for that feeling of walking outside and being warmed instantly.
I haven’t exactly made a lot of friends that are still in this city. There’s my roommate, but she has a really busy schedule and I don’t see her often. There’s another girl, Amanda, who is also from Texas and has been living here for over a year. She has been the nicest person and a good one to turn to for advice. One of the British girls I met in the hostel is still here as a student, so we meet up occasionally. Other than that, I have a lot of quiet moments. Hoping to make some new friends soon!
Skype me, message me…would love to hear how everyone is doing back home!