19 Feb, 2009
Husband drove me to the airport and I talked the whole way because I was so excited. I don't even remember what I talked about and it's probably not important, but I was really excited and a little nervous. Anyone who knows me understands why. There was a time I wouldn't even dream of stepping this far outside my comfort zone. Anyhow, I took a picture of my "Chilean Butterfly Traveling Bracelet" that was made for me by Miss Beady. To quote her:
"Brown with a little red or orange, and some of them are silver." (That's how you described your study species.) This bracelet has been designed with the colors of your butterflies in mind. The brown beads are Czech glass. The orange/red/peach beads are all coral. Coral offers protection and prevents ill fortune and illness. The turquoise beads are real turquoise. Turquoise is native to the Andes mountains in Chile. (Although this turquoise is not from Chile. It is from Arizona.) Turquoise is a symbol of friendship and provides strength and brings good fortune. I hope this bracelet witll protect you and bring you strength on your journey.
The other one is a beetle (yes, it's a real insect) from Miss Jenn. It glows in the dark. I love it. I wore both of these on my way to and on my way from Santiago and it helped tremendously to know that there were dear friends thinking of me and wishing me well, even if they were in another hemisphere.
Arrival at Miami:
According to my notes, from the time I arrived at the Nashville Airport to my arrival at the Miami airport, I knitted three inches of my Chile sock. On the flight down, there were two people from Chicago sitting near me, both Cubs fans. I saw palm trees, though far away, and for the first time since last summer, the city I was in was having temperatures of over 80*F (26*C).
I met a knitter from Chile named Milenca who lives in Chicago, but was visiting family in Santiago. We chatted for a bit on this and that and she told me where to find a yarn shop. This was extremely valuable information. Thank goodness for knitters the world over.
20 Feb, 2009
From here on, I'm going to try to take directly from my notes. I may add a bit, edit, clarify, or skip over parts as best pleases me.
I had to give up my snack food at customs - a total waste, but not worth the fines. I've checked in to my room at the Airport Holiday Inn, within walking distance from the Airport. Quite a change in environment. I'm sweating like a sweaty thing. I'm going to have to venture out into the world to get cash, get my car, and eat. I'd rather hole up here, but I don't have the luxury. Perhaps I'll visit the yarn shop Milenca recommended. It's on the Plaza de Armas, so it should be easy to find.
I hired a cab and went to downtown Santiago. I spent most of the afternoon wandering around, getting good & lost, but eventually found my way back to the Plaza de Armas. I was feeling kinda down, not having eaten or found a yarn shop, so I went into a place called Marco Polo and ordered a Coca-Cola. I'd started the heel flap of sock #1 in the cab and was well into it at this point, working on it as I sat in the restaurant. I shoulda done this to start with. I conversed as well as I could with the waitress about my knitting, ordered a sandwich and water (Santiago is very dry), and instantly relaxed. I made myself do it and it ultimately paid off. I got directions to where teh yarn shops were, picked the one where there were ladies sitting down and making stuff, and bought eight skeins of alpaca. It's Peruvian alpaca from the same company as the store I went to in Cuzco and cost roughly $3.75 a skein, but the yarn itself is hardly the point. I went out into the world - the Spanish-speaking world - and managed a sandwich, one or two conversations, and alpaca yarn.
Patricio, my cab driver, even held the sock for me for a picture. I'm sitting in my underwear because it's so damned hot and considering whether I should go eat. I'm not hungry, but all I've eaten today is airplane breakfast (which wasn't bad, actually) and most of a chicken and ovocado sandwich.
...I could have wine...
Sleep: 1, Wine: 0