Etcetera, and Such

The last few months have been a bit crazy, which would be an excellent excuse to account for my lack of blogging, but the truth lies somewhere between inertia, laziness and malaise, though I’m only about 2/3 confident about the definitions of 2/3 of those words, so who really knows?

School is long over, though I haven’t the slightest idea how I fared, considering the generally disorganized nature of the University of Chile. I legitimately really enjoyed each of my classes in their own way, and learned a lot, but I find myself complaining about the dysfunctional nature of its administration and habits of its faculty more than lauding the classes, which is too bad, but it’s interesting that that’s really what stuck with me. I’ll do my best in the future to acknowledge the good with the bad the next time an anecdotal discussion of the comparative merits of Latin American public higher education comes up which, knowing the crowd I tend to run with, will probably be pretty soon.

The same goes for the Santiago Times. I’ve complained with every fiber of my being about the way that the owner of that organization runs that business, and I’m sure many of you have been the unlucky recipients of these bitch sessions, but I have to acknowledge that again I learned a lot about a community I had no knowledge of, and I’ll treasure that. I got to do some very interesting stories, going to events with heads of state and cabinet members of more than one country, as well as a presidential debate, and I’ll cherish those experiences. So take that, ST, you didn’t fully ruin my experience, try as you might.

Really, I’ve been on more of an emotional rollercoaster recently than stuck in any one train of thought, given my ponderings of the journey coming up versus the virtues of an immediate plane ride home, eating burritos every day and watching more baseball and The Office than you can shake a stick at, whatever that expression means. I had built up an image of myself as someone who can go travel for months and years on end without missing home, an image that was promptly shattered when I broke down in the airport just before my parents left, knowing that it would be months before I saw them.

That said, I love to travel. I love to meet people for the first time and exchange stories and practice language and read everything I can get my hands on and take picture no one will ever see and pretend to write in my journal while I’m actually people-watching and learn and teach new games at hostels with new friends and feel the warm sand beneath my feet in a new country and drink new drinks and hitchhike and go for long walks and this and that and everything.

And that’s why I’m not coming home just yet.

I am certainly scaling down my aspirations for the trip. I had dreamed about a year-long backpacking trip in and around South America, seeing “everything” along the way. That’s not going to happen, for reasons ranging from financial to logistical to emotional. Instead I’m love to do “a few” months, which means that I really don’t know yet how long I want to stay out. I know that I don’t want to travel alone. I feel like I always knew that, and it only compounded after spending a week in the south on my own.

That said, I’m trying to structure the trip around my potential travel buddy(s), which is a bit challenging, particularly because it’s left me hanging out in Santiago for a couple of weeks driving myself (hopefully only) slightly crazy with the free time. I’m moving out of the host fam’s apartment tomorrow into a hostel, and I’m hoping that once again having that thing people call “human interaction” will help me bide the time. Once we figure out a schedule I also plan to try to find some internship opportunities or something. In the meantime I plan to make do the best way I know how, which basically boils down to the three G’s, though all of the G’s stand for “Glee.” That is, watching Glee episodes, listening to Glee, and watching Glee songs on YouTube. That said:

He’s no Freddy, but he’s damn close.

I went to Valparaiso for New Years with a friend of mine and her friend, and despite my utter lack of planning, things worked out really well, and my friend let me stay with them in her family’s apartment for the festivities. We drove from Santiago to Valparaiso in about 7 or 8 hours, something that should have been about a 1 hour trip, because apparently Valpo is really the place to be for New Years, something that I fully agree with after seeing it first-hand.

The entire town was packed, particularly in the plaza areas closest to the water, which there was a fantastic fireworks show and popping champagne corks by the hundreds. We each drank a bit too much, but had a great time and got home with nothing stolen and injury-free, and spent the better part of the first day of the decade sleeping it off, eating pizza and watching bad detective shows on the English channel on TV.

The two girls are my friends, the guys we met randomly.

So yeah, a good start to the decade, and I’m done a good job so far in avoiding thinking about things like resolutions, or responsibilities, or what I’m going to do back in “the real world.” At this point, I’m just going to study for the LSAT, learn some new languages, read as much as I can, expand my music knowledge (let me know if you want to help, as donations of music are always welcome), and continue my constant crusade to become a panelist, guest, or even the butt of a joke on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me.

That said, blogees, welcome back, and I hope you have a happy and wonderful new decade.

P.S. This post also marks the first update written on my new computer, an Asus Eee PC 1005 netbook, as I sent my old iBook G4 home with the folks, along with about 90% of everything I had down here, leaving me with just a backpack, a few shirts, and about 25 lbs worth of books that I hope will last the week.

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