Even though we went to bed very late on Christmas Eve, I still didn't sleep well when I did go to bed. You see, December is summertime in Chile and so the bugs were out, and there are these kind of super mosquitoes down there that are very deliberate and very, um, ,pesky. I had one in my room that drove me bonkers all night long, buzzing all around my head and giving me some very itchy bites all over my body. Blech! That all did not bode well for what was to come next, as I didn't fall asleep until around 6:30 A.M.
The next thing I knew, I heard Rodrigo's phone ringing in the other room. I think the ring jolted us all into awareness that we'd slept enough. It was just before noon. Rodrigo's conversation was short, and I could hear the two of them talking with fervor after he hung up. In about two seconds, Jorge knocked on my door and I was jolted awake!
John, get up! We gotta get ready. We're getting company. With that, the front door opened as Jorge added, Rodrigo's whole family is here! Holy crap!
I had no time to prepare myself for what happened next. In just ten seconds the small house was filled with Rodrigo's family, who were stopping by for a Christmas visit on their way to a cabin in nearby Algorrobo for a family vacation. They were all there...his mom and dad, two uncles, a couple of nieces and a nephew, and they filled both the inside and the outside of the house with typical familial chaos.
The next couple of hours or so was a whirlwind of uncomfortableness for all three of us. The unannounced visit was bad enough for Rodrigo, but poor Jorge. These were his in-laws. And as for me, well, let's just say between my always initial shyness and the fact that none of them spoke a word of English, it was awkward to say the least.
At one point towards the beginning of the visit, I went outside for a cigarette, right near where Rodri's Uncle Nanu was standing...
Rodrigo gave me a warning about his strange-looking older uncle who was missing most of his front teeth. He was moving his forefinger in a clockwise motion as he said it. I just smiled and nodded at the man while I enjoyed my smoke. The whole family pretty much ignored me anyway, thankfully, except Rodrigo's mom who was very pleasant and sweet. She chitchatted with us in the dining room as we dined on an impromptu 'tea' of ham, cheese and bread. That's what Chileans do...they eat...just like Italians, lol. Dad wasn't as pleasant, very stern, and he spent most of his time outside surveying the outside of the house, apparently looking for faults to criticize.
Al in all, the whole visit was short, thankfully, and that's because Jorge, Rodrigo and I had been invited to Jorge's mom's at two o'clock for lunch. The whirlwind that started that Christmas morning had finished, and it was only been the beginning of what would become a long, adventurous day!
...stay tuned for more...
Check out the first 'chapter' of my Christmas in El Tabo right here.