Not that it was unbearable before, but life seems so much more bearable now. Why? Loud music in my eardrums wherever I go- that’s why. You see, I’m the Victim here. Or I was anyway. I’ve told the story may times and now’s not about to be another. But it ends in me being cashless, passport-less and ipod-less after a week of being here.
The first two possessions were obviously a priority to sort out, but the iPod sort of became a distant memory- a problem that I never seriously considered rectifying for some reason. Perhaps it was the parting with large sums of money that didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it was a subject that, subconsciously, was too painful to address since I loved that iPod dearly. Either way, for almost 6 months I have been commuting around Santiago to the beat of my own heart instead of the passionate drummings of sexy Foo Fighter’s Taylor Hawkins. Instead of the sweet soothing sounds of, well, any artist, I was dealing with the sounds of extreme (but extreme) bubble gum popping, unnecessarily loud cell phone games, reggaeton blasting from shitty cell phone speakers and ‘se inicia el cierrda de puertas’ every time the metro doors are about to close. Its also a lot easier to avoid eye contact with music in your ears. Its ok to stare downwards or ahead when your mouthing the words to some song.
It helps having Van Morrison tell me that there’ll be day like this. Or perhaps, if I somehow ended up with LMFAO on my playlist I could strut down busy La Moneda to ‘Sexy and I know it’. Here’s where I admit that that song is rather applicable to my Santiago life. Cats out the bag! Admittedly, not the most modest statement but stick around to find out more………..
Just this morning I could have counted the amount of steps (on one hand) Id taken out my door before I encountered my first compliment. This particular one came in the form of a group of Chilenos, aged about 30-something. It seems that travelling in packs makes one more confident and cocky. Today has been a particularly busy one- compliment wise. Its undoubtedly due to the way I am dressed. Owing to the fact that the laundry pile is at its peak; today, a particularly cold and gloomy winters day, I am wearing a bright green mini-skirt and black tights (perk of not working from the institute; my boss cant say sh*t!). as my Chilena roommate points out, people just don’t dress that way here. But I’ll be damned if I change how I dress just to avoid looking more out of place.
Feminists aside, show me a woman who doesn’t like being noticed? Show me a woman who finds compliments, well, uncomplimentary. Sometimes the approach taken is somewhat less acceptable, but in order to not get your knickers in a knot about it all, take to heart what someone told me a couple months ago- take it as a compliment. And enjoy the fact that the compliments will keep flowing regardless of how much fast food you consume or how little make-up you’re wearing.
Please be advised, that I’m not blowing my own horn here. Anyone who looks the least bit different, dresses somewhat differently to the rest or god forbid- walks slightly differently, is going to be noticed. its 100% related to the lack of cultural diversity in Chile. The loud-music-in-eardrums also drowns out the truely unwanted, necessary and extreme lip-smacking kiss sound made in your general direction- of which construction workers and truck drivers are particularly guilty. As a joke and also because I became tired of answering the question ‘what do you like about Chile’, I said that I liked it because in this country I’m hot! But back to the music….
It also shortens lengthy commutes- possibly the biggest bonus. Twice a week I travel an hour in each direction to teach a class in what is actually no longer considered ‘Santiago’. Today has been the debut of making this trip to the sound of music. Perhaps its because I was preoccupied with writing this blog entry that the time seemed to fly by.. But I feel the musical addition definitely contributed. This is my stop! May the music be with you.