Today, upon the cancellation of my afternoon classes and with the sun shining high overhead, there was really only one thing to do: wander.

I wandered over to the park where I found a cellist playing a free concert in one of the many monastery cloisters in Santiago. He sat in one corner among the stones and gothic arches and played for half an hour so that everything echoed perfectly and I imagined that these old stones were very pleased at having been put to such good use after all these years.

After the concert, I left the cool darkness of the cloister and stepped back into the hot sun (even at 6:30pm), at which point a nap in the park was in order. Inspired by the Bach solo still echoing in my ears, I put a little Yo-Yo Ma on my iPod and was soon drifting into daydreams on the warm grass high above the city.

Such a warm, restful nap immediately calls for refreshment in the form of ice cream, so I headed to the nearest place I could find and indulged in some chocolate-almond-vanilla-caramel concoction as I wandered back home, thinking that this is exactly what summer Santiago afternoons are made for.

This weekend I am hoping to go to the local pool, enjoy some pulpo a feira and some pimientos, maybe go to the beach, or at least have a picnic in the park with Carlos. I am trying to get as much Santiago-ness in as I can, because we’ve only got two weeks left until we leave. Then I will be trading my tiny little town for the big city, my closet-size room for a flat with Carlos, marisco for bratwurst, and English teaching for…? Well, who knows. But I better get my fill of pulpo, pimientos, rain, and northern beaches, because I’ve got a one way ticket, and I don’t know when I’ll be back around here again.

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