Completed and made it through my first official week living in Chile and I think that the phrase, “You’re doing it wrong,” borrowed from the movie “Mr. Mom” most adequately sums up my first seven days living in the Southern most Latin American (major) city of the Southern Hemisphere.
In the movie, as the title clearly gives away, Michael Keaton (during his cute years, with prime 80s shag hair) loses his job and at the same time, his usual stay-at-home wife, gets an amazing advertising gig she can’t pass up – so she heads to work and he stays home with the kids. The first day he takes the kids to school, he’s driving in the wrong direction and just NOT following the instructions that of course all the other moms seem to know. Even his kids repeatedly tell him “Dad you’re doing it wrong” and of course Dad doesn’t agree with them until he reaches the drop off point and the yard mom introduces herself and confirms “Jack, you’re doing it wrong.” As the movie progresses of course he begins to GET it and eventually even becomes a yard dad and repeats those same words to another bozo parent who can’t grasp the concept of going in one way and out the other when taking kids to and from school.
Here’s the thing though, it’s not that I actually DID anything wrong. It’s just that I did everything with that phrase in my mind because I realized I didn’t know HOW simple things were done. You all read about the bank charade and I think that was the only thing that I did (besides driving) where I was clearly messing up left and right.
On Friday night Gonzalo dropped me off at this pub/bar/place – call it what you will – to meet the American woman I mentioned in my first blog entry (wow she’s made two cameos already. K if you’re reading this, take a bow). Anyway, as I was getting out, I turned to him and asked if it was normal for me to sit there by myself, just in case she hadn’t yet arrived. He said yes. Then I asked ok, well is it normal for me to go ahead and order a drink by myself while I wait. Again he said yes. Armed with these confirmations I went in ready to sit down and order my glass of sauvignon blanc and STARE DOWN anyone who made me feel that what I was doing was anything less than normal.
But in the end it wasn’t necessary since we arrived within 10 seconds of each other. (In case you’re wondering, yes it was fun, yes she was “normal,” and yes I got buzzed at happy hour.) Oh and I did also realize that I bring something QUITE valuable to the table here in Chile – US Weekly. Do you know how many hoops one has to go through to get this magazine down here? I’ll have about three weeks’ worth in the next few days so whatever you do DON’T RUIN IT FOR ME. I’m really sensitive about my US Weekly reading.
Returning to the matter at hand, I accomplished the following things last week:
1). Signed my rental agreement for our apartment (moving in August 1st)
2). Got into the groove of working at home (which, nonetheless, remains odd to me but I’m sure it will grow surprisingly pleasant at some point.)
3). Opened a checking account (personal and business) – I think I did, anyway. You know how that goes.
4). Joined a gym and went for the first time today (similar to Equinox in Palo Alto – super nice – but of course I did the parking thing wrong – oy.)
5). Had date night with my fiancee (that, I think I did right)
6). Learned to turn on the califon all by myself (don’t ask!)
7). Drove in Santiago (illegally but carefully.)
8). Spent time with Gonzalo and his family (including his kids).
And today’s most triumphant accomplishment:
I realized I had left my $30 lock (kill me now, I bought it at Equinox and before realizing how much it cost!) at my new gym. I remembered that Gonzalo had told me about the equivalent to 411 back home so I dialed it, asked them to connect me to the Sportlife in Vitacura, talked to the person at the front desk and agreed to have them hold it for me until I went tomorrow. All while DRIVING down Holanda street!! Do you have any idea what this accomplishment means??? I had a problem and found a solution – by myself. It truly sounds so simple but I’m sure that each and every one of us, who has found ourselves in a completely different country, where we aren’t sure of the norms, has had the memory of doing that FIRST thing all by oneself? Seriously I feel like a baby who located her hand and thumb!
Mr. Mom is a fantastic movie by the way. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s Michael Keaton at his best though can’t particularly say I’m a huge MK fan. The lines are classic and so fitting. In fact, I’m sure that come six months from now, I’ll be using Jack Butler’s ol’ line in response to “You’re doing it wrong.” That being:
Don’t tell me I’m doing it wrong [Santiago]… I know what I’m doing.