Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fall is coming to Chile as I Muse

I notice I haven't posted anything for quite a while so I will-although I'm not quite sure where this is going yet. Fall is in the air here-no rain yet but a few cloudy days. A friend farther south in Valparaiso tells me it is raining a lot. Only a few weeks ago, she was boasting about the lovely rain they have every afternoon while there was none here. And it was hot, in the 90s for days. The weather may dictate what part of Chile you like and it can vary a lot....here in central Chile, it is hot, very hot days and no rain for months. It's a Mediterranean climate but know what that really means...I really didn't imagine it meant no rain. But the nights are still cool, maybe the best sleeping I have ever done has been in Chile. Central Chile has a nice long growing season but you better make sure you have accessible water or everything will die. Water rights are not automatic here-they are bought and sold separately so make sure you have them. Don't assume that because your neighbor has utilities, you have access-research carefully. The way everything works is completely different here and common sense may not apply-Rule #1 This Is Chile.

Anyway, I feel that slight crispness that says fall is coming. I see red maple trees starting to turn red. The US is experiencing snow in 49 states I hear. Spring should be there in another month or so-I hope. For many reasons, we are returning to the US for spring and summer at least. I hate winter and am not fond of it here either. It is rainy and humid cold that permeates through your clothes right to your bones. The local folks are not fond of heat-I have yet to see central heating. People commonly wear coats inside and the women wear pantyhose under their jeans (and that works btw). There is rarely snow but a frost covers the ground every morning in winter. People are frugal here and we in the US could learn something about that. Some sort of middle ground would be nice. I have been told by Chileans that brag of a once a week shower(I'm assuming a "spit" or whore's bath in between) and am tired of feeling apologetic of my American ways of desiring frequent showers. I love showers. They make me feel good and perky and ready to take on the day. I really tried to adjust but....so those are a couple of things that a big adjustment. Calefons are common here and are a great idea-instant hot water heater on your wall-a real space saver and endless hot water! The US has taken them and improved them. Definitely think its time has come.

The perfect life is to spend the warmer seasons in each country and that is my fervent hope. Chile is a second home but it will always be not quite home. When I go to the US, part of my heart stays in Chile. but I am US-made and part of me is always there. If only we could take the good ideas of both countries.