Being a blonde in Santiago or perhaps in Chile as a whole is a lot like a mythical creature, sighting one is like sighting a unicorn. You just don’t see one everyday. You may see them on TV or in a picture but not in real life. It also doesn’t help when you are very very fair.
The first month was hard- Constantly being stared at, getting told ”you’ll get used to it” …really? will I? Didn’t your mother ever teach you that its rude to stare? Often people will make noises so that I look at them but i’m not falling for that one. I find comfort in walking with my boyfriend, if you haven’t noticed from previous pictures he is covered in tattoos, when I’m with him and people are staring I genuinely don’t know if there staring at this blonde creature or a man who’s heavily tattooed.
I definitely notice a big difference when walking with him as opposed to walking with anyone else. Usually if someone is staring at me Javier will stare at them and when they notice him they cant look away fast enough and they never look back one guy almost tripped over himself he got such a shock. (still makes me chuckle) There was one gentleman on the escalator he was going the opposite way (me travelling down, him up) he literally stared so much he ended up facing backwards – watch your step your at the top.
As I said I feel comfort when with my boyfriend; a lot safer. I was walking through a park with a friend and I felt a guy behind me getting closer and closer, This freaked me out – what is he going to do? your not invisible I do know you are right behind me then he approaches, says something and reaches out to touch my hair. Really?! you are actually going to try and touch my hair! hell no you don’t touch a woman’s hair. (although a much better alternative to the worse case scenario) Then he continued to ask how I get my hair like this blah blah I pretended I didn’t understand a word he said and my friend who is male quickly brushed him off and gave the cold shoulder. This the first time that anyone had actually tried to touch it.
When I meet people I just wait for the comment ‘Ella es muy Blanca’ – ‘she’s soo white’ really? thank you for that observation I truly hadn’t noticed. Often followed by ‘does she have sunblock on’ Firstly I come from NZ where the sun is arguably the most harsh-I know when to wear it. Can the suns rays actually break through all this smog? -kidding I know it can..
Let me just say it is not without perks. As soon as I entered Chile I immediately knew I would be treated differently. There was a line in Immigration of 200-300 people I was approached by an Immigration officer and taken to a booth that had no line, my passport was stamped immediately with a ‘muy bonita’ comment and ‘enjoy your stay in Chile’ when collecting a luggage trolley I was immediately helped by another officer who told me how to use it. When loading my suitcase on I was assisted and didn’t touch my bags to load them on the x-ray. One older officer was concerned about me as I was travelling alone- Have you got someone waiting for you? yes..’don’t lift your bags there heavy let me..’ if you don’t have someone waiting I can find a taxi.. no Im ok but thank you.
That being said I look forward to the colder months where I can cover up with a beanie and have considered colouring my hair a darker shade (never in my life have I been anything darker than platinum blonde) Well see…
And yes I do notice when you look at me then quickly nudge your friend to look as well..I hate to break it to you but its blatantly obvious.
Chao for now 🙂