Trip down memory lane (in Chile)

DSC_6211, originally uploaded by Chinmong.

Emily put out a challenge to talk about our first trips in Chile. She has a great post up with photos. Sadly, I am blogging from Kazakhstan, so I don’t have access to my photos. I do, however, have a story.

Or rather, I have a crystal clear memory of my arrival and my first trip in Chile. Keep in mind, we are talking August 17, 1996.

I remember coming through the glass doors of the airport. I remember I was wearing the purple velvet hat I had bought in Germany 2 years before. I remember meeting my host dad– the actual finding him part is a bit fuzzy– but I remember his laugh. The host mother was there as well. As we walked out of the airport, there was a huge billboard for Crystal Beer; I still can see it in my head. In actuality, there is now a hotel where the billboard once stood.

I remember being in the car. It was beige, four door. We were driving down route five and passing all these little houses. Everything was so green and there were cows! We stopped at Bavaria. This was my first trip in Chile.

At Bavaria, my host dad ordered my lunch. I got a hamburger with avocado, tomato and mayonnaise. I drank my very first fresh raspberry juice. It was delicious.

We kept driving. At the point in the road where the old mall was (Punta de Sol– at the time it was a happening place) we turned on to Kennedy St. My host dad started talking about JFK. We finally arrived at home; the had been telling me about it the whole trip. They said we lived in a water tower. As we drove down Kennedy, I actually saw a water tower. Up until this point, I assumed that I had misunderstood. Heck, I only got about 45% of what came out of Juan’s mouth. But, I saw a water tower. As we approached, we slowed down. And then turned. Turns out that they lived in front of a water tower.

And I was home.

Other stories:



  1. Ah Clare – I do miss Chile. You are so fortunate to still be back there all the time and speak Spanish…or comparatively often at least. My whole world, day in and day out, is in Chinese – not nearly as enjoyable as Spanish! I look forward to reading about your time in Kazakhstan. Take care!

  2. You must have seen so many changes since that first trip! Even thinking of the hotel not being there or seeing lots of cows on the way from the airport is totally foreign to me.

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