The only bad thing about spontaneous participation in high ropes courses is that ow I can’t move and I think my stomach has been replaced by a sentient bruise.
Today, M. and R. invited me along to descend upon F. and Fr.’s house in the country (as seen previously). On my way to the Metro station, I ran into another patch of tear gas (lawd knows from whence it came). Obnoxious, but appropriate timing: as though Valpo was encouraging me, “See, aren’t you glad you’re going to the country today? Fresh air and minimal tear gas!”
I rode the Metro for two stops, and then jumped off to wait for M. and R. While waiting, I got a picture of a nifty sculpture: a giant wooden seagull that rotates slowly with the wind. (Previously, I had only ever seen it from the window of a jostling vehicle, which was not conductive to photo-taking.)
M. and R. arrived at the station, and we boarded the train. One marvelous thing about these trains is that there’s frequently live music. Performers (ranging from adequate to excellent) set up in one of the train-cars, play a few songs, and then collect coins offered by the listening passengers. During the busier parts of the day, there may be a performer in every car.
F. and Fr. met us at the Limache station, and we piled into the back of their pickup truck for the ride (I’m still elated by that mode of transportation). By the time we reached their house, the tear gas had seeped into my contact lenses and was making my eyes feel awful, so I plucked out the lenses and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around a strange, blurry world. Life in soft focus.
F. prepared a late lunch — ensalada chilena (tomatoes, onions, vinegar) and yellow curry with rice, chicken, and vegetables. I’m somewhat confounded by spicy foods in Chile: I consider myself a big ol’ spice wimp, but every time I’ve eaten spicy food here, it has seemed mild and tasty, rather than horrifyingly burny. Are my taste buds maturing so that I can handle spice, or is Chilean-spicy comparatively weak?
We spread a blanket out on a sunny patch of grass, and settled down with books, espressos, and chocolate cookies. I alternated between voraciously reading my novel, and resting my tender eyes. F. went away to work on a toy she’s making for her niece, and then brought it out to show us: a little wooden dog on wheels, which is handsomely shaped and rolls smoothly.
Eventually, Fr. and the young neighbor-boy joined us. We chatted until the light faded, whereupon we headed inside for a cup of tea. Then, we stacked ourselves back into the pickup truck, and gazed up at the constellations until we reached the train station. A round of goodbyes, and a gently-rocking train ride back home. A relaxing, agreeable day.