"Are you missing Santiago at all?", my friend asked.
Since moving to Chile in 2011, I had previously only left for the summer because hot weather and I are not friends and I have no air conditioner in Chile.
When I moved there, I went with the idea of permanency, but this year, I've been out of Chile more than not. I even bought a small condo in the US during one of my visits. So now I have a place to go when I'm not in Chile. It has air conditioning and central heating. Though it's a one-bedroom, it's almost double the size of my two-bedroom Santiago apartment. I have my own parking space and I can easily run to Walmart, Walgreen's, or Whole Foods at almost any time of the day or night.
Do I miss Chile at all? Yes. I prefer walking across the street and shopping at the woefully understocked Lider where I have to time my visits so that I'm not there immediately before work, during lunchtime, or after work unless I want to stand in a long line.
I miss tasty food that is not (yet) completely GMO-tainted, eating things that are in season like we used to do when I was a kid. I miss good olive oil and delicious, inexpensive wine. I even miss marraqueta.
I miss my view of the Andes Mountains though the snow is probably melted by now.
The Metro in Santiago is overcrowded and malfunctioned on a grand scale recently, but it generally works fairly well. And then there are the micros, buses, and also swarms of taxis, not exorbitantly priced. I dislike driving and I miss mass transit, awful as it can be, because apparently I'm a city chick.
I miss my friends and wonder if it's really possible to maintain intimate relationships long distance.
There are many things I don't miss too, but that's for another post. With one foot in Chile and the other in the US, I should feel balanced and grounded. Oddly, I feel just the opposite, as if I'm shifting from one foot to the other, not sure I belong in either place.