So fun weekend aside, my body is no more excited to be in Santiago than it was at the end of last week, so as I write I’m currently lying in bed, after leaving class on Monday and staying here this morning.
I’ve had “mild, occasional” asthma my entire life, which for the most part has been just that: occasionally mild, letting me do normal things like sports or breath-holding competitions, and only manifesting as a mild lung pain after long runs or in really cold or thin air. Or when I get a cold, like now, in which case it strikes with all of its repressed fury, turning a mild case of the sniffles into a brutal case of the sniffles and a lingering cough for the next several weeks.
The good news is that I don’t have a fever, so it’s not Influenza H1N1, aka “Swine Flu,” which, all joking aside, is actually a threat here. A few people in my program have already come down with it, and though they’re okay, it’s not the kind of thing people take lightly down here.
But that’s depressing, so let’s talk about something that people do take lightly around here: racism.
As I’ve been delving more into the political craziness of this place, it’s really interesting to hear Chileans talk about their own demographics, so most would be quick to tell you that there is no racism, given that there really isn’t more than one race. The Mapuche, the largest indigenous tribe still in existence in Chile, only make up a small percentage of the nation’s population, and though most Chileans are quick to tell you that they have a little Mapuche blood in them (or that they’re ‘pure’ Chilean, whatever that means), I suppose that the supposed “lack” of racism more addresses the day-to-day lack of any color difference on the streets, rather than the infrastructural and historical events. Odd. Still, similar to the U.S., it seems that the government and education systems are making an effort to acknowledge and educate about the Mapuche culture, including activities that EAP students can go on to learn more.
I’m still tinkering around with plug-ins for photo albums, so for the time being I’ll probably just stick to posting the odd photo until such time as I can do it more economically and attractively; my Internet seems to not be able to make its mind about how fast my connection gets to be. Right now I’m on the lower end of its bipolarity, making my best efforts take forever, so I’ll upgrade when I can.
In other news, I’ve found a few key people in this country, both that I knew I was looking for and didn’t.
• Someone (a few someones) to play tennis with: I befriended my (Chilean) neighbors in the apartment a couple of weeks ago, students at La Chile, and one of them is a fan of tennis. Not only did he have a desire and a place to play, he said he could lend me a racquet. Boo yah, I’ll hit that up when I’m back on my feet.
• Someone to study with for the LSAT: That’s right, I’m officially prepping for Law School. I’m terrible at studying on my own, so I figure the opportunity to look at this stuff with another mind is an opportunity too good to pass up.
In other, other news, with the slow Internet connection I’ve had to forego my watching of just about any video at a reasonable rate, so I’m officially in the market for good blogs: particularly entertaining, edgy and cultural. I’m making a concerted effort specifically not to spend too much time on American politics, rather I’d like something that’s just fun to read, fun to keep up with, and will keep me entertained at a minimum of bandwidth. Any ideas?
As I’m now realizing this post is rather serious, please let this image lighten up your day.
For now, Ciao from Chile.