A Busy Day
So today is a busy day. We got up early to try and get everything done, knowing that was somewhat unlikely.
Because we are staying in Chile for more than three months, we need to get ID cards. This has been and continues to be quite a process. First we needed special visas, thus our trip up to Chicago in January. But that was just step one (actually Cecile had completed several steps before that). Once in country, we have 30 days to apply for our ID cards. So this morning’s task was to try and complete that process.
First we had to go to the Departamento de Extranjería y Policía Internacional Viña del Mar to get a form filled out, signed and stamped. For that they just needed our passports and where we are staying. Total time in office for this was about 30 minutes, which was quite impressive. Next we had to go to the Culture Ministry, which was just two metro stops back towards our starting point. And there’s the catch, it’s closed. Even though we looked up the hours yesterday and they’re supposed to be open, they’re not. They are open tomorrow morning, which isn’t normal, so perhaps that’s why they were closed today. Fortunately it’s not far, we can even walk it as we did coming home after that failed attempt.
More on the ID card saga as it develops.
Joel starts school Monday, even though it’s a short day. He’s attending St. Paul’s, which, no surprise, has a uniform. But the daily uniform is actually pretty nice, sweat pants, long or short sleeved t-shirt and sweatshirt. Cecile had been told of a small shop attached to the school (maybe run by the PTO?) that buys and sells used uniforms that was supposed to be open today.
So after coming back to our apartment, dropping off the documents, getting a drink (water, for now) and hanging up the latest load of laundry to dry, we headed back out and up the hill (there will be pictures or video eventually of this short but steep walk) to see if the store was in fact open. And it was! Oh joy, we were able to get him shirts and sweatshirts, but no pants as the few they had were pretty worn out. On further reflection, this is no surprise.
So Cecile is out now hunting down the sweatpants at a uniform store she found during her stay here before we arrived. In the meantime, Joel and I went out to get more money and make copies of the documents we got this morning, which we also need for the next step.
Joel also needs school supplies, so after coming back with our haul and eating lunch, we looked up the list online and Cecile began to try and translate/interpret what the different items were and which ones Joel might actually need for his 3 1/2 months in school. Ultimately we’ve decided he can go Monday with a notebook and writing implement (which the director of the school said was all he needed for Monday) and Cecile will print out the list at work, maybe this weekend. Apparently some stores you go in with the list and hand it to someone and they get the stuff for you. We’ll also send Joel with a note asking his teachers which supplies he’ll actually need for his time there. So we’ll see how all that goes.
Today is moving day! We haven’t said much about the place we’re in now, because there isn’t much to say. Aside from being large and having a washing machine, it is, in a word, a dump. It’s dirty and hasn’t been maintained at all, and we’re really looking forward to moving. At 4:00 Cecile goes to do an inspection of the new place (literally across the street and down 2 or 3 buildings) and then we can move in. Woohoo! Shabbat in our permanent apartment in Viña, very exciting. And sleeping in what should be a much more comfortable bed.
This didn’t come without some anxiety, however (besides the whole search process). Last night Cecile realized we might have a several hour spread between the time we need to move out of here and when we can move in there. At first we thought we were going to move in Saturday and Cecile had contacted the owner of the current place to see if we could stay. While that would have been no problem, she didn’t follow up because things changed. So she e-mailed the owner last night to see if we could get a late checkout, and then the internet crapped out on us when she started looking for replies. But finally, at 11:00, at her last check she heard back and it’s fine. It did motivate us to pack last night instead of today, however, so that’s a good thing.
So now we wait a bit, I decide whether to start forcing Joel to start doing his U.S. schoolwork now or let him have some more chill out time, and we prepare to move all our stuff over to our new place.
One Last Thing
For those who don’t follow me on Twitter, I had a bizarre thought last night. What popped into my head (be thankful your’e not in there) is an (imperfect) Fibonacci sequence of my time in Chile so far. So here goes: 1 beer, 2 cities, 3 bottles of wine, 5 apartments (looked at or lived in), in 8 days.
We’ll have to see what lucky 13 is.