Saturday, December 20, 2014

20 Hours of Life.

Yesterday was seriously one of the best days ever. The 20 hours I was awake was jam-packed with surprises, new experiences, and savory moments. Want the run down?  Well, if you insist...

1- First, Pato and I decided to wake up at 5am and drive to go see the sunrise out in the country (no pictures sorry).  We brought our thermo, had our hot tea, boiled eggs, bread, and fruit all while listening to the birds chirp and watching the sunrise over the mountain top. 

2- Next, since it was still really early, 8am by now, we decided to go to the beach 20 minutes away and watch the fishermen bring in the morning's catch from the ocean.  Being from the Midwest, I have discovered that I am plain ole ignorant in any and all things regarding seafood. We saw them unraveling Hake from the nets, chucking the the pesky little crabs back into the ocean, cleaning out conger eels' heads & pelicans/sea gulls going bonkers watching all of it.  It really was quite a scene!  I am determined in the next few months to do a photo shoot there. 

3- After the beach shores, we jutted inland once more to finish our Christmas shopping at a local outlet mall. Normally, I don't really enjoy shopping like most of the female gender, but I loved this time for two reasons.  (1)  I had the most scrumptious cup of COFFEE for the first time in over a year. I never drink caffeine anymore, so you can imagine what Pato had to put up with for the rest of the day. (2) We ended up conversing with two store clerks for almost 30 minutes about cultural stereotypes and misconceptions between the Chilean culture and the American.  We clarified about how American movies really export a horribly poor image of my nation, how Chileans are total classicists, how Chileans are much more open and affectionate in public arenas, how most Americans perceive Chile, and the like.  It was beyond satisfying... and hilarious!

4- By this time, it's almost 2pm, so we went to eat and a quaint little restaurant, then we returned to our apartment.   We organized a bit and waited for some close friends to arrive for "once" (in my humble opinion, Chilean version of British tea time). Our guests arrived at 4pm; I introduced them to some homemade cinnamon rolls from the US of A.  Who doesn't like cinnamon rolls?  Total success.  So after the pre-game for three hours, we left for the rockin' party at church for young adult group on Fridays.  However, in the middle of the service, we determined that we simply had not had enough time together.  I absolutely LOVE Latino culture because there is no "start time" or "end time" determined for outings (some can last 7-8 hours if everyone has the time). So as soon as church ended, we decided to continue with the after-party yet again back at the apartment for some more laughs and numerous rounds of Dutch Blitz. If you are not familiar with Pennsylvanian Dutch ways,  I have attached a link for the curious George out there who wants to know: <> Everyone left after midnight, and we obviously sawed some serious logs around 1am.

Even though I've been involved with Spanish & the Latino culture for over 15 years now, there have still been some intense cultural transitions, more so right at first. It's one thing to study abroad in a country or live with a short-term goal/mentality, but to really create your LIFE in another country is a different ball game. BUT there are always days that are pure treasures. Gold nuggets really. 

Yesterday was one of them.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Marriage Newbie.

I've only been married a mere five months, but I've arrived at one conclusion: almost all the advice you hear before marriage will suddenly sprout wings and fly out the window after those wedding bells chime.  You realize you aren't as cool, patient, or selfless as you once thought.  You realize that men really are from Mars; it's not just a book title! Marriage is sticky, complicated, wonderful, mind-blowing, fun, never predictable....  All those characteristics ON STEROIDS when you're making the transition in another hemisphere of the world.

I've always savored a good challenge, and an international relationship is the best in its game. Sometimes I react differently because I'm an American, and then other times just because I'm purely female (always a toss up between the two).  However, my husband was specially created for my insanity, naiveté, need-for-adventure, and cultural confusion. Sometimes I just look at him, and I think to myself: "How, or better yet WHY, does he put up with this crazy, skinny, white chick?"

Above all, readers, please don't listen to those embittered or pessimistic couples out there for counsel. Sorry, but I believe that the honeymoon can last more than just one month (it has so far); please let me live in my dream world.  I believe that the first year of marriage the couple must discover HOW TO communicate, the glue in the marriage bond, but it doesn't have to be as horrible, hard, and discouraging as everyone makes it out to be.  It depends on the individuals.

So, everyone asks me, "How is married life?" And honestly every time I answer the same:
"It's insane to create a new life with someone else, especially when that's compiled with cultural transitions here in Chile.  But you know what? I absolutely love it! I love doing life with my husband." Marriage is as awesome as the two make it to be. 

Each season has such a beauty to it, treasures that might never be experienced again when a new chapter is written. So enjoy the season you are in!  Find the beauty!  ......In the meantime, I am going to go take a nap with my hubs and listen to his Harley-Davidson-Motorcycle-like snores.