Saturday, May 2, 2009

The end of the beginning

Right now I am sitting in the most unlikely of places: a 5-star Sheraton hotel in Santiago, Chile. I was supposed to be in an ocean-front room in Peru as part of my surfari, but my plane to Lima got pushed to tomorrow morning.

Three months passed like summers pass; they feel drawn out as they happen, but so eclipsed at the end. For once I can't think of too many what-ifs (there's just one thing I wish I had told someone). I lived like I always wanted to: drank when I wanted to, talked to the people I wanted to, danced when I wanted to and went to class when I wanted to!

I felt strange the last few days of my trip, knowing that all of the good times were coming to an end. This alone, however, made me want to make the fara (the "move," the night, the party) on the last night the best. Around 2am a group of us tried to hail a taxi to a well-known club. We tried three times, but each driver made an excuse (not enough gas, too many cops near the club, etc.)...frustrating, but ultimately fuel for our amusement. Anyways, we got to the club, and through the madness of everyone getting in and knowing someone who knew someone we did not have to pay the $15 cover. On the open-air deck they played 80s tunes. Some of my friends popped champagne; with a Southern boy (from the U.S.) I spun and twisted in a way that would make my dad proud.

Around 5:30am I though that I did not want to stay until sunrise. I had no money though, so I had to wait until my benefactor Dior wanted to go back. I didn't want to be the one to end the night, so I just continued talking and dancing until the club started to clear out and only the die-hard shakers remained. With strangers we jumped and sang our energy out to stupid American songs; we put our arms around each other and spun. I felt so much freedom, complete presence. The sky started to lighten and we were cleared out of the club. Instead of headed straight for a cab, the five of us who stayed 'til the end watched the sky get blueish-orange. A Chilean fella gave me his black corduroy blazer: "Until you go to the taxi," he said.

My study abroad is officially over, but it will stay with me for a long time. I still have three weeks left in South America and I hope they will be three of the best ones yet.


Sanaz Arjomand said...

from someone who also just ended a study "abroad," missing the experience is comforting if only because you can remember the good times you had to miss. it sounds like you had a great time, and i am going to miss these great posts.
thanks for sharing!

Kristen Gehrman said...

What?! These poste BETTER not be ending! I wish I was shakin' it with you. What are you doing for your last three weeks if not studying.

Please come to Charleston this summer.