My Life in Viña del Mar, Chile: Part 1, Housekeeping Edition
When people found out we were going to be moving down here to Viña for four months because Cecile got a Fulbright, they often asked what I was going to do. My response was generally along the lines of “The same thing I do now, just in an unfamiliar country, without a car, where I don’t speak the language.” Apparently, I knew what I was talking about.
Housekeeping, Small Apartment Style
While Sunday is chore day at the Marquette house in Peoria, we have yet to get into that schedule here in Viña, though we plan to. And you might think being in a small apartment would make it easier than at 1024, but that appears not to be the case, for several reasons.
- Smaller is NOT Necessarily Easier
After all, there are still three of us creating dirt and disorder. Although not having three cats and a dog around makes for less dirt, it’s definitely dustier here and the windows and sliding glass doors don’t have screens. So in addition to the same three people mess being created in a smaller space, dusting needs to happen every 2-3 days. Likewise sweeping, though that’s really every 1-2 days. And don’t get me started on the kitchen.
- The Kitchen
Hmm, too late I guess. So our kitchen is small; long, narrow, and small, but larger than in other apartments we looked at. And we cook almost all our meals. And there’s no dishwasher. Well there is, but it’s me. Now I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing that I have to keep the kitchen even cleaner than at home, but it does seem odd that less space is leading to more work. At least there’s no bread baking going on.
See kitchen size & dust issues above.
This is the one where we really wish we had Hoover. Hoover was well named, and performs his job admirably. Now, I am Hoover, but with a broom and dustpan, otherwise that would just be gross.
You may have seen my previous posts where I mention that pretty much everyone here line dries. While our building has a laundry room with washers and dryers (2 each for a 25 floor building), it’s in many ways easier and definitely cheaper to line dry. This new process (well really an old one returning) also adds steps to the laundering process. First is the accumulation of change (1300 pesos/wash); then the walking downstairs and hoping a washing machine is free. There’s actually a sign up sheet, but few seem to use it. I guess if I could plan that well and far ahead I could. Wash takes about thirty minutes, then back upstairs and out onto our balcony for the puzzle game of fitting everything on the drying rack & line. All in all a fun and competitive but time consuming sport. I’m looking forward to it in the next X Games (have I mentioned that the South American X Games are going on now? Mostly in Santiago but apparently something’s going on here, somewhere).
Well there’s good and bad here. The small size of the apartment and kitchen means it’s difficult to stock up as much as we’re used to. While we certainly load up on fruits and vegetables at the feria (market) on Saturday (there’s one on Wednesday too), by mid- late-week we need more. And it’s also just the way things are done here: you go out every day to get your pan (bread) and whatever else you might need. In addition to streets for cheese & meat sellers in the market area, there are several small, local markets selling various items within walking distance. And that’s one of the positives: I can walk to the markets, except for the feria. I could probably walk there too, but we go as a family and it is quicker and easier to take the metro one stop.
Wow, that was a lot more than I expected. I guess I’ll stop now and tell you more about my days later.
Thanks for reading.