There were many things that we prepared for before coming here. We learnt some Spanish phrases, had our vaccines and bought travel insurance. One thing that we weren’t ready for was living in an apartment.
Suburban living on the Sunshine Coast has spoilt us for space. Unlike here, our floor is not someone’s ceiling. The house we’re living in is a little over a hundred years old and has been modified to have three self-contained apartments. A very typical thing to do here in Valparaiso. The place isn’t haunted because when ever something goes thud we know it’s one of our kids. On the first day that we moved in here the person below us told us she could hear every time we moved a chair. Obviously we can’t walk around with sponges tied to our feet but we are still acclimatising ourselves to living in such close proximity to our neighbours. I’m sure our Australian neighbours can verify that we’re a noisy family and we need a buffer between us the next dwelling.
The door does swing both ways though. With the carpenter of the dwelling long departed and the warranty perhaps expired, we have to put up with the smell of the downstairs fireplace coming up through the floorboards. We assume it’s their fireplace we can smell, although we do get the munchies in the middle of the night.
This is the first place we’ve been in where, on a windy night, the draft comes up through the floor. We’ve stuffed bits of tissue in-between some of the larger gaps. It’s a strange sight to see the curtains moving when the windows are closed.
Indiana has started her own business venture. Like all childhood businesses there is a high amount of expenditure expected from the parents. She has some body art pens and has drawn a sign, in Spanish, offering body art for CH$100. We sit out on the boardwalk to the ascensor and she holds her sign up while all the passengers walk along. I try to paraphrase from Robert Kiyosaki’s books and maintain a nurturing attitude on the pros and cons of running a business and starting a billion dollar empire on the streets of Valpo. We certainly admire her courage to have a go. Who knows were it may lead to?
And Talluah’s allergic to the water here. Can’t take her anywhere.