I am now at the Santiago Airport waiting for Martina to arrive, an hour
early, and a little nervous.
I stayed the night in a hostel in Santiago so as to be able to be here to
meet her. The trip in the metro from the bus station to the hostel was
interesting. I have never seen a train like it. The wheels are combined
steel and rubber tyres, the tracks conventional steel rails laying alongside
a concrete rail on which the tyres run. I was curious why this particular
configuration but think I worked out the answer as the train accelerated
away from Pajaritos and in towards central Santiago, the stops are numerous
and the legs in between short, consequently the train is continually
accelerating and decelerating very quickly, and I believe the tyres are
needed for additional traction. The train is a long hollow tube, as we
accelerated away from Pajaritos the air inside the train, needing time to
catch up, would cause a wind to travel from one end of the near empty
carriages to the other, and as we decelerated at each stop the air, having
by this time caught up with the train, would want to keep going and caused a
wind going the other way. As we got closer to Central the influx of
passengers far exceeded the outflow and by the time I reached my stop,
Manuel Montt, the train was packed, standing room only, passengers dull
faced, eyes glazed over, each protecting themselves from the intrusion of
several fellow passengers, strangers, into their personal space. This served
to baffle and dampen the wind quite a bit, though it was a bit of a fight to
get to the doors when we arrived at my stop.
The Hostel was clean and tidy, mostly full of younger people who carried on
until late and made sleep difficult, but I managed a few hours after things
had quietened down. Up at 5, back to the metro, I was early and had to wait
for the station to open, caught the first train back to Pajaritos, the train
all but empty the whole way, the wind whistling past, first one way then the
other. As I looked down the endless tunnel I was reminded of the infinitely
receding image caused by two opposing mirrors, bending slightly this way and
that as one of the mirrors is angled slightly away from parallel. I marvel
at the logistics of a big city.
And now here at the international airport, 30 minutes to go, I am awaiting
the start of a very new adventure in my life.
All is well.