Saturday, February 21, 2015

Best of Both Worlds

I've just spend six months away from Chile, the longest period of time outside the country since moving there in 2011.

At the end of next month, I'll be returning to Santiago. People ask me if I miss it. I'm happy and somewhat relieved to answer, "Yes."

There're my friends, of course, but I also miss other familiar things: my Pilates studio, my manicurist, my hair stylist, my massage therapist, my students. I miss more natural food. I'm ready for an empanada and pastel de choclo, and while traditionally plain, Chilean cuisine is becoming ever more varied and interesting. I'm anxious to investigate all the new bars and restaurants that have opened during my absence, many of which I can walk to.

Heresy for a Texan to admit, but I dislike driving. It's stressful. I miss decent mass transit and plentiful, inexpensive taxis. I miss my barrio, a little gem in the heart of the hustle and bustle.

"I'm a big city girl, but I was born and raised in a small town..." begins my soon-to-be-released book, "A Million Sticky Kisses." With over 6,000,000 residents, Santiago qualifies as a "big city" and my neighborhood reminds me of a "small town." Best of both worlds.

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