Sunday, 31 October 2010

The mystery of the disappearing mountains

It's been a week of mixed fortunes: getting used to the school run and making some friends, but also three out of the four of us going down with savage colds as the weather veers between powerful sunshine and cold winds... All this has taken place amid increasingly frantic househunting, pretty much done single-handedly so far while DH has been busy with a conference. At least my Spanish is coming along in leaps and bounds, especially the vocabulary associated with houses, buildings, apartments and rooms as I sift through the classifieds, sending off emails and making faltering telephone calls to various baffled estate agents around Santiago. Squeezing in the viewings into the slim margin of time after school and before we have headed back to our current location has required some careful planning and negotiating, but after taking both children backwards and forwards across town and back twice in one day I decided not to repeat the mistake. DH has been kind enough to try and make it along to the viewings in between his important work commitments so that as well as getting the benefit of his opinion I can actually have a good look around myself without running after DD2 all the time on unfamiliar territory, a particularly important point when faced with low balconies on the twelfth floor and other unexpected delights... It has been a steep learning curve and in less than a week I have narrowed down the area, description and orientation to an ideal, though whether we shall actually find it or not is another matter...
Today also saw DD1 attend her first children's party, something we'd all been looking forward to more than usual given the novelty of the situation. I don't think I'll be feeling the same next time, though the children thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the pandemonium, chaos, din and amusements on offer at Chuck E Cheese, a US import with machines apparently offering all sorts of entertainment but which in reality only issued paper tickets with which you could then "buy" something of your choice from the shop. Still, it was worth it to socialise with DD1's new classmates and of course meet their parents who were very friendly, welcoming and hospitable with as much pizza and soft drinks on offer as one could stomach... Even more appealing than this was the location of the venue, obviously on the outskirts of town nearer the better-heeled communities and set amongst a literally breathtaking spectacle of snowcapped mountains looming larger than ever after the rain of yesterday had cleared away some of the omnipresent city smog.

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