Go forward in time to December 2008.
One of the things I'm doing to eat and drink healthier for the last few months is to have lunch with a glass of water instead of a soft drink or juice -- something extremely rare in Chile, but that fits pretty well with A Coruña and Helsinki lunch habits. This is so rare in Chile, that every time I order a glass of water instead of a soft drink, waiters have looked weird to me, but always brought it. Until today.
I went to Nuria with a friend for lunch. While she ordered a soft drink, I ordered a glass of water. The waiter was really rude and said to himself "hm, veo que me saqué el premiado" (an interjection meaning I was his big-prize-customer of the day). Although rude, I didn't really give importance to this, until he served only the coke Gabriela had ordered, and then our meals. No water for me.
I inquired him about my glass of water. He looked around very annoyed and told me he would bring it soon, something that after a few minutes, he finally did. When we were ready with our meals I ordered an espresso and another glass of water, just to test him. Of course, he only brought the coffee I had ordered. Once again, no water for me.
I think there is a general misconception that ordering a glass of water in a restaurant means you are a cheap customer. Truth is, I wouldn't have cared if he had charged for it or not -- I just want to drink water with my lunch. So, instead of complaining with the manager or filing a complain, when we payed for our lunch I left about 20% tip (something really rare here), and told him when leaving: "I am so sorry to have ordered water, I didn't know you can't charge for it". If that makes him understand that drinking a glass of water with your lunch doesn't mean you are a cheap customer, then I would feel relieved, but the truth is that I doubt it will make a difference. Still, I felt fine when we left the restaurant and much better than how I would have felt if I had complained.
I don't think I'll lunch in Nuria again, though.
I've spent the last 10 days in Santiago de Chile, taking care of the last steps of a not-so-painful visa process. It's been pretty exhausting, as I am still working remotely, I've had to walk a lot, to make lines half of the day, paying for lots of documents (some of which I didn't even need in the first place), and also have met some of my friends and my family (including a weekend trip to Talca, to visit my mom). Summarizing, a pretty intense time.
Fortunately, today I got a positive response from the Spanish Consulate, stating that my visa request was approved and that now I only need to confirm the date of my flight. This means that I won't be so busy nor expectant during the next days. That's such a relief.
Somehow, I don't feel anything special from the fact that I am moving out of Chile, this time indefinitely. I guess that the months in Helsinki took care of preparing me for what's next. Fortunately, I have the feeling that it's the same for my family, which is a big relief.
I expect to be in A Coruña by the first week of December. What then? I'm not sure yet, but I don't think I will keep my ass quiet in the same place for too long, anytime soon.
Today I learned that it would be a good idea to keep a recent backup of my version of Federico's activity-log.el.
So, it took more than originally planned, but the timing is almost perfect: my Spanish work permit was granted, so I'm traveling to Chile this month to do the final paperwork and get the stamp in my passport.
One thing that's curious is that when I tell people about it, they congratulate me. It feels weird to be congratulated because of receiving something that I consider almost a right (the right to have permission to legally work in something that you love), but the way bureaucracy and immigration policies go, it seems that getting a work permit for a European country it is a motive of joy. Weird.
On Sunday I reached a milestone I had set for myself: I ran over 10.5 kms in about 50 min. It was damn cold in Helsinki, so I just started and decided not to stop until I had run more than 10 kms, and it just happened. When I could measure the time it took me it felt amazing. I thought I was running at a much slower peace, so getting to know it was only 50 min. felt really cool.
I've been also trying to run in one of those running machines, but it's not working pretty well for me. Not only I feel dizzy, but also my back starts hurting and the impact on the surface makes my legs hurt. I am not really liking it, so I've been only doing between 2 km and 4 km. Anyway, it's better than not running at all.
Also, I started playing table tennis again. It's been years since I played regularly (during high school I was really freak about it), and it's slowly coming again. I got myself a nice racket, but I still haven't beat Marius, though :-)
Go backwards in time to October 2008.