Saturday, April 19, 2008


I emailed Sam Thursday night. Sam is in the Middle East with his family - wife and daughter - for a couple of weeks. His wife and daughter went back there to be with family when it became clear that Sam was going to be living out of a suitcase for quite a while so when he goes home he goes there. So anyway I emailed Sam. He can't get back to Santiago fast enough for me by the way. I have become so bored. At home I get bored a lot but I can always do something around the house or yard. Here there is nothing to do around the house or yard because, well, there is no house. Or yard. Just the apartment, and I can't do anything around it except laundry on Sunday mornings. So the absence of Sam, my dinner buddy, one of the loves of my life (in that completely unromantic way and only because I can completely be myself with him despite the fact that I actually REPORT to him) has worn thin.

But I digress.

So anyway I emailed Sam Thursday night. About 6 weeks ago I finally lost it with Jorge having the car and determining the schedule and being entirely dependant on him for transportation. Jorge is the project manager in title and so has many meetings that last long hours and my job is a bit different. Once the end of the office day comes there is really no need for me to be there - all additional work for the day can be done from anywhere. So I just got sick of sitting around in the office waiting for him to decide it was time to drive back to the neighborhood. Also there was never ever any FUCKING communication from him. Nothing like "Hey it might be 10 pm before I leave tonight so if you want to leave any earlier maybe we could set up a taxi for you." No. I just sat and waited. So mercifully decided it might be better to set up a daily taxi for me and I got Manuel. Manuel speaks some English and lord but he loves to practice it with me. Also he loves to nag me to learn more Spanish. Which I should. But after a day in the office trying to train people who speak no English and having to pull over the few who do speak English to translate when hand signals aren't working I really don't want to get in a taxi and spend another 30-60 minutes struggling for conversation and being scolded that I am not speaking Spanish. Also Manuel was fond of playing CDs of Brazilian love songs and translating the Portugese for me. "Now he is saying he loves her soft smooth skin. Now he is singing that she has the smell of love." AWKWARD. Then there was the famous drive when he spilled that he really wants to leave his wife and find a no-strings-attached-"relationship" so he can have fun because, hey. He is 52 and has missed most of the fun in life. AWKWARD times five at least.

Then last weekend I was in a "human" car with a human family thanks to Lazo and I spent the next 4 days just wanting to shift and throw in the clutch (though not necessarily in that order) and DRIVE WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN and music blasting. And I got the itch bigger than ever.

So anyway Thursday night I emailed Sam. I told him I thought there was NO WAY an economy rental could possibly cost more than the 2 ways in a taxi daily plus taxis on the weekends. Also with Manuel I had to set up the pick up times both ways in advance and sometimes that wasn't so great. Sometimes I wanted to set the snooze in the mornings for an extra 10 minutes. And more often there were days when I needed and wanted to be in the office an additional 30 minutes or an hour. So bitch that I am I begged for a rental car. I am bored. I am lonely. I just want to depend on myself. When I was in Tokyo Gerard spoiled me with telling me no one should ever have to give up their standard of living at home when they are on assignment with the company abroad. In Tokyo I had my bicycle which I bought on my per diem for about $50 US and it was my freedom. I guess I just have not felt freedom here because I can not come and go as I please. I want to be late if I am late and stay late if I need to and not walk 2 blocks to catch a taxi to the mall on the weekends. I told him we keep talking about sightseeing on the weekends and now that we hopefully are in the waning days of our time here wouldn't a little rental make more sense than taking taxis? And Sam agreed. Because there is a slight possibility that Sam is scared of me when I get like this. This is a car we will SHARE. Mostly because Sam has parking at his place and I will need to move this thing around on the streets until he is back. Also because we hang together mostly when we are both here. Poor Sam.

Today I took yet another taxi to the airport (and also I totally got ripped off - it should not have been more than 15,000 CLP but the fucker charged me 35,390 and there was no way for me to haggle and tell him he was a fucking THIEF). I picked up the car and a really nice guy walked me around it to show me the existing dings that were marked on the drawing and also showed me where the spare and jack were and I understood everything because he was showing me a CAR which I KNOW the parts of and then he told me I was intelligent and beautiful (oh shit these South American men. I think I love them all. Since January 5 I have heard that I am beautiful more times than ever in my life and even though I know they are all lying it is so nice to hear and it makes me blush like a little girl.)

Here is the car:

OK it's a four door Yaris. I wanted something tiny and sporty but this was the best they could do so I got it for the same price of the economy. And when they told me this in Spanish I understood.
On a funny note. When I excitedly announced in the office Friday morning that Sam said it was OK to get a rental everyone, especially Lazo, showed no confidence whatsoever in my ability to navigate and get home unscathed. When I did I sent him an SMS text telling him I am the Queen of driving in Santiago. He replied telling me if I get lost I am NOT to call him. That was about 7 hours ago. I just now picked a random city on the Chilean map which I figure is about a 4 - 5 hour drive from here and told him I was lost and did he recognize the city name? I told him I was certain I was just around the corner from my apartment but nothing looked familiar and did he have any suggestions? I have not yet heard back. If I don't get a response over the weekend I might just for fun show up in the office at 10 Monday morning. Maybe 11.

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