It is Friday night. It is cold, very cold. It has been raining for two days which means that when the sky clears, the view of the snow-capped Andes will be clear and vivid... until the city smog settles into the valley again.
These are the moments when I love living here, even in the winter. I will try to get a photo... you will die (figuratively, of course, I hope) and then rush to buy a plane ticket. It takes your breath away.
Rain means "sopaipillas" in Chile. We have eaten them twice today, once with an aunt and then again because our sweet neighbor brought some. Sopaipillas are little fried disks of a pumpkin dough, explained beautifully here, with a recipe and all. They are ok, much better with a killer "pebre" (their version of hot sauce --looks a little like pico de gallo, but not as spicy), but as far as pumpkin things go, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumkin cookies, pumkin pancakes, jack-o-lanterns, and roasted pumpkin seeds win by a landslide. Not that I am culturally biased...
These past few weeks have been a little more relaxed. I know you didn't exactly know my life wasn't in a state of relaxation, but I think a few of you noticed I hadn't been posting. My first semester as a university professor (can you believe that?!) has been winding down and then ended this week. I just have to grade one last set of final exams. My reprieve will be short-lived though--the second semester begins the first week of August and I still have a lot of preparation to do. Is it too early to start dreaming of December? (December is the end of the school year)
I can't believe we have been here for nine months already. Time has flown by. I am busy with work all week. Weekends seem to fly by too. Saturday we "recup", get groceries, etc. Chileans are prone to very long Sunday lunches with family. By long, I mean loooooooooong... like from 2-9. When we host, it also involves cooking and preparing before that. Part of the reason is the Chilean tradition of the sobremesa the after-meal discussions that extend for sometimes hours.
We all have a good time, even though I always end up with that sensation that I lost an entire day. The kids have really enjoyed playing with their cousins, so I know they are creating memories and building a sense of family, which is important.
At the end of this month I have to apply for permanent residency, a delightful beaurocratic process that involves lots of line-time. I am pretty sure I am going to pay someone to do it for me, because I don't have time. Please don't worry about any lack of authenticity in my experience, I have had lots of practice renewing visas with extranjeria (immigration), so I have done my time.
Also at the end of this month, the hubs and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary... which means we have been together for 14 almost 15 years. Does that seem like an eternity to anyone else? I think 10 years deserves something special, so for our anniversary, I am going to officially, publically recognize him as my spouse on Facebook. Stay tuned for his reaction!