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Published: August 25th 2018
I have to be honest...grocery shopping for me, at the best of times in Canada, is very challenging. Coming at the end of our first day in Chile, running on about 3 hours of sleep, having just arrived that morning after a two-leg, 20 hour airplane journey with our two sleep deprived daughters, the odds were against a trip to Jumbo to pick up supplies going well. Things were off to a rough start too when we stopped in the produce section, and find out that you actually have to line up behind a bunch of other grumpy supermarket goers to get each bunch of fruit or vegetables you’ve just picked weighed and priced by a single worker before you actually could pay...I figured there was no hope. I’m sure Steph also saw the forlorn look in my eye and sent me off to get dairy. Another overwhelming experience as I combed the yogurt aisle with my loose knowledge of Spanish to try and find something similar to what we buy back home...
...and yet, things ended up turning out just fine. The first day we spent here was to be honest, amazing. It’s a bit surreal that we are finally here, and I do feel like I’m in a bit of a dreamworld at this point. Like I knew we were coming to Chile, and yet I don’t think I really believed that we were in some ways - it’s a total 180 degree turn from where we were the day before in Vancouver, and our life there, and it will take a while to sink in.
There was certainly a few things that could have sent this whole first day the wrong way. Maelle skipped a nap on the Vancouver-Toronto leg, and we were feeling pretty happy with ourselves when we managed to get her down about an hour into the 10 hour Toronto-Santiago leg. Oh boy, we were feeling confident, as she was passed out and Zoe was dressed comfortably in her jammies and saying she was ready to sleep soon. Except about an hour later when Maelle decided to wake up, looking wired, and Zoe decided that maybe she didn’t want to sleep. And three hours later, sitting in my seat, watching Maelle shift from the seat, to the floor, to the aisle, and back to her seat over and over again, in that haze and vortex that you only feel on long flights where you are not sure whether you should be on your home time, or your destination’s time, or somewhere in between, I was feeling pretty nervous. Eventually she did pass out, and slept solidly for the back half of the flight, as did Zoe. We hit a bit of a rough patch too when we actually arrived at the airport, and we got our bags, cleared customs and both Steph and I probably felt our relief that we had made it, only to find out that the ride promised to us by the destination services people did not show up. (Zoe kept asking “Why is there no one to pick us up?” to which my only answer was ”Honestly, I don’t know”).
But in the end that didn’t matter. The girls did great. Zoe was boucing off the walls all day with excitment even though she was probably sleep deprived. Maelle was happy to tag along in the stroller, making occasional big smiles and giggles as we walked around the streets in Santiago. We got a stunningly beautiful day for our first day here, with amazing views out to the snow caped peaks of the Andes and had a great lunch and a beautiful walk through one of the local parks and around Vitacure where we are currently staying...and Steph and I were so happy that we had made it, and that after a lot of effort the last several months to turn our lives this way, that we are here for this experience. And although there’s probably a few rough days ahead, including the eventual culture shock and adjustment of that honeymoon phase with a new location that everyone experiences, it’s so nice to be able to live in this moment together and be here.
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