It´s true… truth IS stranger than fiction!!
I guess I can chalk it all up to this crazy new technology; this story would simply not exist if we were still able to cook, clean, and change diapers with a cordless push button phone tucked between our shoulder and ear like in the good old days.
Anyway, so I have somehow managed to condition myself to keep my cell phone a good 6″ or so from my face, which, also based on my old-fashioned conditioning, makes me presume to literally scream into the phone, due to the distance from the “mike”.
The combination of these new habits with a public mojito is quite the opposite of deadly, as one might think. No, no no, on the contrary, it is the exact catalyst that, had I wanted to, would have gotten me laid.
So the situation was a dear friend of mine wanted to introduce me to a (single) friend of mine with some kind of ambiguous presumption of either a set/up or English class or some strange combination thereof.
This guy’s first messages came replete with severe disrespect for Spanish orthography. “k ases” for “que haces” and other major infractions. Almost dealbreaker #1, in my book of superficiality.
Then so we made a “plan” to meet Monday eve at his house, since he lives in my neighborhood. In chile, you must always always put the word “plan” between quotes. It’s the cardinal rule here. Because there is no “plan”. Never.
Well my not married but really is married but not technically, but yes technically “friend”, who has been trying to drag me to a seedy motel for months, but we still haven’t made it past the flirtation stage, ironically for his own flakiness and inability to form a “plan” into anything more concrete, said “hey, let’s meet downtown near my work and celebrate your birthday.” Of course followed by the other chilean mandate that would not be from anyone else but a married, but not technically, but technically married man, “tell me what you want to do to me”.
So around 6pm I made my way towards his work neighborhood, when he called and said he couldn’t. (Surprise, surprise). So I had two hours to kill before meeting my friend’s family member back in my neighborhood.
So the first hour was spent perusing a literal cacaphony of colorful pleather purses, lycra leggings, crocheted earrings and swoop/level sweaters, and I even bought a smelly shiny sweater for $4 USD that I will maybe wear twice. My little b-day gift to myself.
I decided to get on the bus and spend the next 45 minutes gorging on a little lava cake from Cafe Colonia (the best desserts in all of Santiago. Really.) but as we were stalled in traffic and it was taking 15 minutes just to go 5 blocks, I hopped off the bus one block after seeing some sidewalk tables from the window seat, several blocks from my own neighborhood.
The first place on the corner said they wouldn’t serve me any alcohol unless I ordered food, too, due to a Chilean law, but said the place next door would. So I went next door.
Around 7:30 I ordered my mojito and I messaged the guy my location.
He said he was 15 minutes away on the subway.
7:45 came. No word.
8:00, our meeting time came. No word.
8:20 came and he finally called me. He was in our neighborhood, about a 20 minute walk from my location. “come and meet me here.”
“I can’t. Come and meet me here.”
“I can’t. I’m in the middle of a mojito.”
“I can’t go there, can you come here?”
“Why can’t you go there, it’s a short walk. I’m drinking a mojito.”
“I don’t understand you.”
“I said I am drinking a mojito. A big mojito. I cannot leave right now.”
“I can’t understand you.”
“A mojito. I am in the middle of drinking a large mojito. I cannot leave.”
“I’m not understanding you.”
Now I’m really shouting for all of downtown to hear and more. Everybody on the sidewalk tables… and on the sidewalk are looking at me and sighing. Another victim of chilean idiocy.
“I am drinking a mojito. A mo-hee-toe. I cannot leeeeve right now.”
Silence. The phone was dead.
There was a guy–kind of a good-looking guy sitting in front of me nursing a beer and cigarette, but sitting up as if waiting for someone. He was one of the many that actually had turned around to see the gringa yelling about her mojito.
“Oh, were you stood up, too?”
Well to make a long story short, we talked until he came to my table, then talked and talked until he told me he lived two blocks away (from the metro) so I drilled the guy on the specs of his apartment and begged to see it.
So they will call me if an apartment opens up in his building. In the meantime I now also have a kind of sort of with a guy who is kind of sort of in a relationship, but about to break up soon because his girlfriend lives two hours away and is looking for a replacement daddy for her three children.
Such is love, life and apartment searches in the great city of Santiago de Chile.