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Published: October 1st 2018
Off to school
Maelle sez "get to work deadbeat!"
Everyone probably remembers when they were a kid, they would play that game Marco Polo in the pool, and the one kid would shut their eyes (hey, no peaking!) and try to catch the other kids by locating their voices. And every once in a while they would yell “fish out of water” and if you were out of the pool, you would automatically become “it”…well, this was my first week at work and I can say that I pretty much felt like the kid running around on the pooldeck, hoping no one would yell “fish out of water” while I was out of the pool…except that in this case I wasn’t allowed to get back in the pool at any time, and had maybe lost my bathing suit, and the whole ordeal was kinda terrifying and so was kinda like a naked terrified hoser just running around a pooldeck hoping no one would spot me, and even if the person did yell ‘fish out of water” they would say it in Spanish and I would not understand anyway…
So welcome to my first week of work in Chile. The adjustments of coming to a new country are by all
See my vest
Former Canadian Prime or Chilean co-worker? You decide
means, not easy, but this one has probably hit me the hardest. Sitting in a room with 5 or 6 people all speaking Spanish that are your direct co-workers, while you strain to try and understand something, anything (I think ocho does mean eight!), has the tendency to make you feel a bit overwhelmed…or makes me overwhelmed anyway...to be honest, I couldn't even work the keyboard at first. I had really thought that I was making progress in my learning of the Spanish language, but maybe not so much. At least a few of them speak English, but I’ve never had the meaning of the expression “lost in translation” be so clear to me. Which is too bad, because if their English was better, or my Spanish was better, I think we’d probably be able to bond well…they seem to make a lot of jokes, and I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy the odd joke every now or then…plus if you’ve read my blog, you know I’m hilarious (English only though).
The other adjustment is that work hours are longer, and frankly traffic sucks…like 50 minutes to go 7km this morning…which is tough, because it means
Zoe's not so sure about that vest
less time to spend with the kids (or maybe that’s good, as they are kids and they tend to drive…me…CRAZY…sometimes), and more time at work or traveling to and from work. And it’s an adjustment as well because now the girls are spending more time away from us. Don’t get me wrong, they are doing well and the nanny is great, I have been spending a lot of time with them though, so I it’s another thing to get used to….and for them I am sure it is too.
…speaking of traffic, for such a mild mannered bunch, Chileans sure do end up acting like a bunch of maniacs when they are driving in rush hour. There is this traffic circle near us that in the morning it is terrifying…and to get to work I have to take it…like people are sneaking into the tiniest little openings, and cars are literally everywhere around you, darting every which way. Every time you drive up to it, you just strap in, and get ready for the ride…consequently I’ve already scoped out a bike route to work…
And as I think I’ve written before there are two sides to this coin…everyone is super nice in the office, and helpful, and there are expats around (including a Flames fan, yes!) and the work will be interesting, although admittedly my job scope is very very new for me (but at least most of my work will be in English!) so I’m sure as I move forward things will work themselves out…and there is a guy that wore the same button up vest last week that looked very similar to the one that Stephen Harper wore to Stampede one year (picture attached), and that made me laugh a lot…like hey man, maybe wearing it three times a week is enough…he did wear another one today, so at least it seems like he has two.
So yes, I am a bit of a deer in the headlights right now (like we do that kiss on the cheek thing every morning, really,…I mean I’m so awkward, there’s no kissing at work, what’s going on here!) or as I said, a fish out of agua…give me a few weeks though, and I’m sure I’ll even know what agua means, and things will be running smoother.
On a sidenote. It’s amazing that you can live in a country, and yet be sorta clueless about what is going on there (helloooooo, language barrier), but in international news it was a big day for Chile. The international court of appeal ruled today that Chile does not have to negotiate access to the ocean on some land they took from Bolivia during a 19th
century war…read more about it here https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45708671
- but if you’re looking for hilarious Bolivian Instagram memes, I’m your guy as my co-workers were showing me a bunch!
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