And now, it’s one month until the date I’ll arrive back in California. Madness! I rolled down the hill for another lunch with E., C., and the newer classmate N. We decided upon the faithful Emporio La Rosa for lunch. Is it bad to find a place I like and return to it repeatedly, rather than trying all new things all the time? Or is it acceptable, since I’m living here (not just visiting), and it’s the same behavior I would have in any “home” city? I default towards the former, but I think the latter is more sensible.
During lunch, we discussed the Christmas gifts we needed to acquire for our Chilean contacts (I’m only doing a tiny handful, e.g. something for V.). After lunch, we hugged E. goodbye, as she is headed off to Brazil for the holiday. Then, C., N. and I went rambling around to do gift-shopping. We experienced the alarming hubbub of a Chilean department store in the week before Christmas. I achieved a few useful presents, and C. managed to finish his entire, more extensive list. Afterward, he took us both for a quick drink in thanks for our patience with his shopping. N. and I swung by the supermercado, and then I galloped back home to V.’s.
When I arrived home, there were two new guests in the living room, chatting with V. She called me over for assistance in translating a Spanish word into English for them, and I ended up staying and chatting with them for a while. They are both from New Zealand, although originally from other countries, and are quite pleasant. I suggested a restaurant to them, but wasn’t sure how to give clear walking directions, so told them I might be able to show it to them. We also embarked upon an interesting tangent about recognizing regional accents of English.
A little bit later, the three of us walked al centro. I showed them where the restaurant was, and they asked if they couldn’t buy me a drink or some food in thanks. I lingered long enough to drink a jugo de frutilla (strawberry juice) with them, and then bowed out so that they could have a nice dinner alone, and so that I could pull out some money from the cajero automático. Sadly, the only ATM I’ve found that works with my card was out of order, so I must try again tomorrow.
I caught a colectivo back to V.’s, fixed a delicious and semi-healthy dinner, and settled in for the evening.