An unpredictable introduction to Chile

muestra retrofaringea

…which means that, after sticking a cotton bud up my nose (both sides) and down my throat, I don’t have Influenza A and, much more importantly, have not been a vector for transporting swine flu to Chile, or for that matter, South America.

Instead of quarantine and undebatable vaccines, I was prescribed a few happy pills, rest, fluids, and endless internet. Seeing as I almost instantaneously started feeling better, this suited me quite well. A far cry from my mindset five hours earlier when forcefully issued a facemask while sitting in the clinic waiting room, only allowed to remove it when all around me had donned theirs. Serves me right: I had just visited a doctor showing all signs of flu one week after both the outbreak of H1N1 and my arrival in the country from New York (where, according to the New York Times, there are currently 50 confirmed cases).

On the same day as I visited the doctor, there was a line of about 200 people in every bank we walked past, and seven houses at the bottom of our hill slid into the sea. We discovered the reasons behind both of these, but it did seem strange at the time. They were unrelated.

On the flip side, last weekend we visited the entrancing island of Chiloe, discovered friends in every bay, and stayed in fantastical homes (both floating and land-based) thanks to the ever-amusing world of contacts… and our car breaking down. I’m sure another adventure will ensue when the time comes to collect it again.

All in all, I have had quite an unexpected introduction to this new and, I am told, very beautiful country.