Sunday, June 10, 2012

New month, New pants, New ID card, New season

June has arrived, and it has brought winter with it.  Despite that less than thrilling news, June has also brought a lot of good with it.

The situation with the dog bite is finally settled.  My student and I called up the woman after I bought my new pants, and after a lot of rude comments about how ¨the dog bite wasn´t that bad¨ and about how I was being dramatic about getting rabies shots the woman agreed to pay for my pants.

After sending an email to the wrong address, getting a call asking what race the dog was, resending my banking information to the correct email address, getting a letter from the court of Las Condes that no crime was committed, and waiting for over a week for her to respond, she FINALLY transferred the money to my account.

Dockers (like most clothing) are pretty expensive here and they don´t have sales.  They also don´t sell pants in length lower than 32 inches, so I had to send them out to get fit to my size.  In the end they cost 37.990 pesos, which is just shy of $80.

Throughout the whole fiasco I found myself getting frustrated and worrying about how it would work out, but after reassuring myself that it would all work out I felt better.  I still lost over $100 due to classes that I had to cancel to get the rabies shots and the night of the incident, but at this point there´s nothing I can do about it.      I´ve also grown to realize that it´s not worth getting caught in past injustices and that it´s best to just move on.

The other big thing that June brought was the finalization of my permanent residency here.  I went to the civil registry last week and went through the formal process of photos, filling out a form, and getting my picture taken for my ID card for the third year in a row.  The nice part is that my new ID card is valid for five years, AND my picture looks much better than my old one did.

I´ve also found myself becoming more confident when problems arise.  I was in line to pick up my ID card with two people in front of me, and a guy came in after me and blatantly walked up to the counter cutting in line in front of the three of us.  I made my way next to him and made the comment ¨Hay que respetar la fila po." which translates to you have to respect the line.  He didn´t even look at me and mumbled about how he just had to drop off a piece of paper.  Luckily the woman helping us heard the disagreement, and she let me clarify the order of the line.  It might seem like something small, but being able to speak up about a small injustice like that in a foreign country and in a foreign language is an empowering feeling for me.

Last but not least, June has brought winter.  Those of you that know me know how much I hate cold weather.  After having been a paperboy for my middle school and high school years and having delivered newspapers through multiple blizzards and snowstorms from 1992 to 2000, I developed a vehement disgust for snow and any type of weather that makes me put on any type of heavy coat.

Well, that season is here once again.  I´ve decided to change my attitude this year.  Yeah, I still don´t like winter.  But is there any positive in it?  I´ve come up with the following positives to winter weather:

1. It´s a good excuse to use and enjoy the down comforter and flannel sheets that I wouldn´t use otherwise.
2. It´s good weather for making tomato soup and enjoying it with a piece of bread.
3. It´s nice weather to stay in and watch TV or play video games.
4. It´s also a good reason to get some new winter clothes every year.  At least that way I can somewhat look forward to wearing multiple layers of clothing.
5. The rainy weather that accompanies winter in Santiago clears out the heavily polluted air and allows for an amazing view of the Andes the following days.
6. I´m very fortunate to have winter clothing, blankets, and a space heater to help me keep warm.  It´s very easy to forget that and take things for granted.

So do I still hate winter?  No.  Do I love it? No.  But now at least I see the positives and won´t wake up in a bad mood for the next 2 or 3 months over something that I can´t control.

I hope everyone up north is enjoying their summer.  I´ll be enjoying mine around the time that you´ll be bundling up for the winter in November and December.

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