Monday, July 19, 2010

All Dried Up

This winter is incredibly dry. Most winters in Santiago are dry, but this one is taking its toll on my body. To start with the ugly, it gives me dandruff. Generally I buy shampoo for oily hair, but that's all changed this winter. Even my face flakes if I don't moisturize it 3 times a day. EW, I know, but I buy special moisturizer that I've never found here so this winter is costing me dolla dolla bills.

Second comes the gross. I got my first nosebleed in about uhhhhh 15 years yesterday. I was talking on gchat with my sister and thinking, wow one of my nostrils is bigger than the other and then I realized it wasn't bigger, it was just dripping blood and looked bigger in my computer's camera. My dad's side of the family is known for nosebleeds in winter time, but it's never happened to me. Santiago winter has changed that. I am now my father's daughter. I can feel the sting each time I breathe deeply through my nose.

Third comes the OLD. My hands are absolutely, positively 40 years older than I am. They are so wrinkly I can't look at them without freaking myself out. If anyone's seen the movie The Others, remember when you think you'll find a little girl playing under a veil, but rather you see an old lady's hand sticks out from underneath it?? Sorry if I ruined that surprise but my face is the little girl and my hands are the old, wrinkly lady. I'm resorting to sleeping with Vasoline smeared hands in cotton gloves.

I never thought I'd say this, but I think I miss (SOME OF) the humidity of Northern Virginia. At least my hair, skin and nose are normal there. Now, I have to worry about things I thought I'd get to put off for almost another 10 years. Thanks, Chile, thanks.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cat Castration

I'm sure someone has already posted about this, but it cracks me up/infuriates me how so many Chileans view fixing your male cat (and dog) as cruel and unnecessary.

This morning I had an early private class and then I went to return my friend's cat carrier that I had borrowed last week to take McNulty to get the big snip. I brought the empty carrier to my student's apartment and naturally, he was curious about it. When I told him what I used it for he said, "PLEASE tell me it was a gata and not a gato!!". The look on his face when I told him McNulty is indeed a gatO was that of excruciating pain. He just couldn't understand why on earth I would do such a thing to an animal I supposedly love, especially since he's not the one who would make the mistake of getting pregnant. This CRACKED ME UP and made me want to give him a little refresher course on the birds and the bees. Hello! It takes two to tango.

This student is otherwise very intelligent, but he just can't grasp why it's necessary to both spay female cats AND neuter male cats. To him, it's not my problem if McNulty sleeps around the town because we won't have any of his illegitimate kittens to deal with. When I brought up the fact that other people would have to deal with them he said, "wow, that's very considerate of you to fix him for other people." And then he went back to the fact that it was painful to even think about what I had done when in reality, it is much more invasive and painful for female cats than it is for male cats to get fixed.

Now, I don't want to single just this one student out because I've heard it from so many people, which explains why so many Chileans prefer male pets to female pets; because then they don't have to "worry" about anything. This is one of those cultural differences that I can laugh at, but when I really start to think about what's behind that thinking it's upsetting.

I won't get into that (in this post, at least), but come on Chileans. Take animal balls for what they are! In fact, take all balls for what they are: 50% responsible for offspring.