Category Archives: English

II. contemporary dreams

We have no choice / other to entangle more

A few days later I found her near the metro station Manuel Montt, in a used-book market, we walked together looking at some books, snooping on their dusty pages, reading the last pages, stroking the covers, but without buying anything.

I invited Helena to have dinner, she agreed, we walked together contemplating buildings, across Baquedano, the Cathedral, the Plaza de Armas, we cross bridges, until we arrived to Riquelme, I invited her to the apartment, it was 4:18 pm and was raining lightly.

That day we ate nuggets and drank beer, I showed her some of my recent work and she liked the drawings, we made some Pisco Sour, and drank more beer. There I knew that she came to Santiago to study advertising, that she didn’t had Chilean friends, that she felt that everything smelled like smog, that her taste in music was terrible, that she didn’t know how to draw and she had fallen in love with a place named Valdivia. And so, between entertaining talks, beer and sunset, night fell.

The metro closed at 11pm, and due to my insistence and the fact that nobody expected her back, she stayed with me. That was the first of many visits. Although we do not yet fell in love. We kept hanging out, knowing each other, walking alleys smelling of vague piss, contemplating historical monuments, palaces, places and markets. We made drawings of the Mapocho river from the bridges, ate buns, drank pisco, and I’m not sure when we started to hold hands.

Alguna plaza en Riquelme

Alguna plaza en Riquelme

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Stages of a journey

If someone asked me (or even if no one does) I would say that within a travel a person can experience three stages: projection, transition, and immersion. The first stage <<Projection>> is what we imagine that we will find during the trip, our expectations, what we think we will find, do, think, know, the plans for the future. When we arrive to a brand new world and we look at everything with surprise and amusement, when we find gestures and the other people face structure weird and somehow incomprehensible, when we feel like we don’t belong to that new world, like total strangers. The first walks, the first interactions with the inhabitants of this new place that we are visiting… All the dreams that are generated from a small idea of what we think we will find.

I would call the second stage <<Transition>>. That’s the moment in which we feel that we are starting to understand a small part of this world, when we feel we are getting closer to the answers we were looking for, but we start to forget what the question was, when we just began to create a routine, to have preferences about basic stuff: cookies, milk, bread, wine, beer, pubs, parks, paths… when we start to do what we really want and not what we think “we have” to do. We began to walk certain streets instead the most known avenues, go to certain dodgy pubs instead the regular cultural areas. We began, without being aware, to taste this brand new world, without the pressure of being an other tourist that walk the streets just taking pictures and buying souvenirs, we don’t look at the buildings with the same amusement than the beginning, and little by little we stop comparing the world we came from with the one we live in.


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