Tuesday, May 5, 2015
I suppose it didn't help that I arrived here exhausted, only stayed a few days, then set off for a week in Chiloé. In reality, I've only been back in Santiago for three weeks, but one thing is apparent. I'm not in Kansas any more, Dorothy.
I instantly jumped from spring into autumn. Skipping summer altogether, I returned to my tiny downtown Santiago apartment where my sedate existence was upturned. Like in Jerry Seinfeld's Bizarro World, everything is opposite.
Contrary to the quiet of the past six months, from 1 to 2pm, a lone saxophonist stands near the corner of Merced and Miraflores. I can hear him from my apartment if I am in my kitchen. In the evening, a band of buskers paints their faces and marches through the neighborhood like clockwork, an itinerant flute and drum corp. Late nights, I can hear another musician on a different corner. I'd feel like I'm living in the circus, except that I like this music and it's far enough away to sound soulful or lively, rather than ear-splitting.
My internal clock is now shoved forward a few hours. Instead of going to bed at 10pm like in the US, I'm sometimes finishing dinner at 10pm. Time slows down here, yet fast forwards to late night party and dinner invitations whose start time is more a suggestion than an expectation. Depending on where I am, I'm either in bed with the chickens or up until the cows come home. A slight exaggeration, but welcome to Bizarro World.