I wanted to talk about my longest love affair. It’s not with a person or a thing, but with a country, Chile. Chile has given me so many things, I just had to express my feelings with an open letter to the people, the land, and to all the little things that make Chile so wonderful to me:
I love “Love’. It’s such a great feeling and it can be defined in so many ways; people do stupid things when they’re in love, people do amazing things when they’re in love, the best and worst side of people comes out when it comes to love.
Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re in love until it smacks you right in the face. This happened to me recently and now I just have to get it out. I’m in love.
I didn’t think it was possible, but the Internet and science have proven me wrong. I’m in love with a country. And it’s You.
Yes, you, Chile.
I’m in Love with Chile. Even the simple thought of you makes my heart race. I find myself laughing out loud as memories replay in my mind. I’ve always said that you were my favorite and that we have this special connection, but now I’m realizing that it’s love.
At first, it was the unfamiliar sounds, landscapes, and people that made me swoon when we first met. You brought me back to life and showed me a new way to look at this great big world. Your voice is so unique that I was determined to learn your language. Every Chilenismo you taught me has been engraved into my vocabulary so much that I have to correct myself when speaking Spanish with a non-Chilean.
You introduced me to things that I can’t live without. Honestly, I don’t know how life functioned before. Your sandwiches are like no other and now I can never eat a hot dog without Palta (avocado) again. I have a soft spot in my heart for fresh bread; warm, right out of the oven and I know you do too, marrequeta anyone? Don’t even get me started with your endless sweet desserts like manjar, mil hojas, alfajores, pie de limon. Let me stop before I’m completely distracted.
My weekends would lighten up as you served me endless piscolas and helped me paint the town red. You turned my two left feet into a non-stop dancing machine. Who knew that I was just missing reggaeton and cumbia in my life?
You taught me what futbol was really about. The passion that flows through my veins is undeniable. Your losses are my losses. Your wins are my wins. You put everything on the field and I am in awe to see a team, a country, rally together and fight for the greater good. I used to hate the color red. Now I wear it proudly.
You got me on the streets. Never in a million year would I think I would enjoy taking the subway or have to hail down a bus. There is something oddly enjoyable about watching people’s reactions when the bus is overcrowded, or when musicians try to bring happiness to the riders morning, or when the driver didn’t hear the stop-bell so everyone rallies together to try and get it to stop.
Now, not all has been rainbows and glitter. I am not fond of your earthquakes or the endless numbers of tramites (paperwork) that occur to get one thing done. Efficiency may not be your strong suit, but we are not all perfect and I have learned to take the good with bad.
It’s not just one thing that makes me love you, my dear Chile. You are the complete package. I never expected to write this but being away and back in my hometown I’ve had a lot of time to figure out what I really want in life. I may not know what the future has in store for us, but I promise that I will find my way back to you.
Until then I send all my love,
Your gringa mas porotos que los chilenos