Oh boy oh boy was today a day that will live on in infamy. Today was a day of multitasking; I failed at all of my endeavors while simultaneously blaming Chile, Transantiago, several Chilean institutes of higher learning, pigeons, street dogs, my bed, the heat, and the Bank of Chile.
So my day started when I turned off my alarm fell back asleep. Luckily I woke up just in time to throw some butter and jam on some bread, throw on some clothes, scrub my teeth, and catch the bus to the Metro Station.I dashed to the Metro station and just missed the train, so I had to wait a whopping 5 minutes but it felt more like an hour. I felt stressed and mildly irritated at the entire Metro system.
I hopped on, changed lines at Santa Ana, and rode the orange line to the Universidad Diego Portales. I had planned to go to the International Relations Office first to register for the class, but I didn’t have enough time. I got lost for a little bit inside the Communications and Literature building before I found the right classroom. The class before mine seemed to be wrapping up so I waited outside the classroom, but 15 minutes later people were still chatting and there was no sign of my professor coming to clear everyone out. When I finally asked, the professor told me that my class doesn’t start until Wednesday because Monday is the start date for first years only. Now I was feeling pretty annoyed, but trying to keep my cool.
I figured that since I was on campus I could at least register for the class, then my trip wouldn’t have been a waste of my Bip! card money. Except the nice lady told me she would be happy to make an appointment for me to speak with the secretary of the Communications and Literature department but she can’t actually help me. I left the building in a quiet, dignified temper.
I took the Metro back and noticed a bank next to the Micro stop where I catch my bus home. Perfect, I needed to change my last $50 USD bill to pesos. It was busy, being 1 pm on a Monday, so I waited in line for almost 40 minutes. When it was finally my turn they informed me that only account holders can change money at this location, there was nothing they could do, so sorry, that’s policy, and no there isn’t a location nearby that could. In a calm and collected manner I took the next Micro home (which I felt was very behind schedule).
After I had some chocolate ice cream and a rest in my room I reflected on the day. Really, it had been a learning experience. Now I knew exactly where my class was and how long I need to get there, so on my actual first day I wouldn’t be so stressed. And I won’t ever waste my time at the Bank of Chile again.
What I think was really behind my anger and frustration was culture shock. The “honeymoon” period where everything is novel and awesome and cool is fading quickly, replaced with the distinct sensation that everything is backwards and wrong and inconvenient. I remember thinking things like “what a stupid system” “why would they do it like that?!” “why does everyone do everything so slowly!?” “would someone PLEASE speak some English?!”
I think I’m probably in for a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Maybe knowing that will help me cope, but I might just have to ride it out until I’m more adjusted. Wheeeeee!!!