14 January 2010

the largest pool in the world

san alfonso del mar, chile

musing today between legs of travel-- overnight from JFK, then a few hours' coffeespace at Cristian's sister's place in Santiago. trying to find my footing in both language and toughness, two very different psychological tasks all at once. thinking about syntax and vocabulary makes me realise how crucial cultural deep-diving is to linguistic progress. I've been reading the books, studying phrases, and still i find the world here oddly impermeable, in the same way that I might find an otherwise personable person slightly out of my social range. as much as I'd like to get inside the mentality, I just can't feel out the vibe yet. maybe Castellano and I are not really meant to be-- maybe it is really just about the land, the wild south, the cold, the mountains and straits of la region antartica.

on the other hand, after twelve hours of stumbling around mentally in my language brain, I'm starting to get a hold of rudimentary communication, to put it clinically.

as for toughness, well, that's another matter.

so here we are in San Alfonso del Mar, home of the world's largest pool, a laidback summerhome waterscape fringed with white mod-international-style development, lazy with weekday beachgoing locals. behind the expanse of skyblue saltwater, thrumming rough surf shakes the entire place with a dense, deep bass; the sea looms grey and sparkling between lagoon and horizon. the expanse beyond the waves-- breaking ten feet and higher on the irregular, eroded beach-- is calmer and kelpy.

tomorrow, we'll go for a long swim.

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