It has been a while since I write on the blog. It has been a busy time as I have been on job search. But, that period is coming to an end and, lo and behold, my next job will start with a business trip to Chile.
Lo and behold for many reasons. One, though the job is in the States, my first day will take place visiting the Chilean operations of the company. Two, I could only have dreamed that my next job had an international angle to it but it turns out it produces that angle from the get-go. And three, I worked in Chile back in 1991 greatly enjoying the place, the lifestyle, and the people and, yet, I never got to go back (I did try). It has been a long 18 years and I finally get to fulfill the desire to go back. Will El Tallarin Gordo still serve as good a meal as it did back then (I do know it exists still thanks to the Internet)? Does Pollo al Coñac still exist in Lo Barnechea? Will I get to visit Los Dominicos again to make some purchases of Chilean arts and crafts? Does the Pizza Hut near the offices where I worked still exist? Does Coppola still serve wonderful ice cream? (notice most of these are about food!)
I do not have to wonder about re-connecting with my friends as we managed to re-connect after that odd period between 1991 and the late 90s bridging over the period when people did not have emails or laptops to the new highly connected world of today with email, Facebook, Skype, etc. I will get to see my friends and, by now, their kids. I also hope to do at least a quick drive-about the old hangouts for memories’ sake. Always healthy for me.
I do expect Santiago to be totally transformed. I was there in the aftermath of Pinochet as Chile was beginning to come of age after the close of 2 decades of Pinochet. Chile was under a construction boom at the time and I hear that boom kept on going years after I left. What was new then (e.g., the Hyatt) will be rather old by now.
I long to eat palta York. Drink a Chilean pisco sour. Eat one of those Chilean sandwiches whose main ingredient is mayonnaise, then the bread, and then a filet of pork. Oh, and Chilean wine, of course. I long to see the amazing Andes, which greeted me every morning when I woke up as my bedroom faced these magnificent mountains and I left my curtains open at night so I could have them be the first thing I saw every morning…
With these random thoughts I wrap up this entry. I will certainly write more once I am there and share my observations and reflections of a city likely transformed since I last saw it. Yet, I hope I will feel as if I were going back home after a long exile…
If anyone has recommendations of good places to eat these days from hole-in-the-walls to nicer places, please share. Though I won’t be able to spend time sightseeing per se, drop your suggestions on that too as it may help others! Vamos po’!