First Real Job // First Time on the Subway at Rush Hour

My day went like this:

  • snoozed my alarm until 6:30, when I got out of bed reluctantly and got ready for my very first day at Principal!
  • walked to the door to leave… and could not figure out how to exit my new apartment. 10 minutes later, I texted my roommate to have him come let me out.
  • walked like 8 minutes to the subway.
  • held my breath as I waited for what I had heard was the worst subway situation ever. Thankfully I was the only one waiting, so when the (very full) subway pulled up, I literally wedged myself between two grown men and off we all went. I wasn’t even holding onto anything, that’s how wedged I was.
  • got off the subway 6 stops later. It was 8:00 by this time and still dark out. Since I didn’t have to be at work until 8:30, I stopped at the very conveniently located starbucks to order un cafe latte, fria.
  • still early to work, I had to wait a bit for my new bosses to be ready for me.
  • then I was introduced around. People’s first impression is that I’m probably chilean, because I have dark hair and eyes and light skin. And then I open my mouth and they’re like “wait..”
  • one coworker I met asked “hablas español?” to which I replied “que??” …so like, if that answers your question…
  • then my “tutor” started my little introduction to principal financial en chile, but first asked about myself. he asked my age. I said 11.
  • it is now clear to all of my office that I am not that good at Spanish (yet).
  • they continued to ask me throughout the day whether I’d prefer English and I continued to insist that they speak Spanish with me (but slower por favor!!).
  • lunch break was at 2 pm. Remember the good old days in the U.S.? When I’d eat at 12, maybe even 11 if I was in that kinda mood? Because I don’t.
  • we went as a group to lunch. pretty sure all of my new coworkers think I am the most boring person in the world (I was so nervous to say anything and mess up..)
  • then I actually became the most boring person in the world when I started to kind of enjoy learning the different words to describe our pension funds and how they work.
  • work ended at 6:30. Chileans go hard.
  • it was dark again by the time I left. So Iowa, enjoy your stupid sun because I’m not even going to see it for the next two months.
  • I walked a few blocks back to the subway station, determined to get back on that crowded death trap and finally go home.
  • 14 metros came and left before I finally forced my way on. 25 minutes of waiting. These subways were so packed that parts of people backpacks, coats, arms, legs, were hanging out the side of it. Not arms and legs but it got really really close.
  • I got off at the right metro station (applause if you’d like, it’s deserved I think) and then walked in like a full circle before I shamefully took out my tourist map and navigated back to a street I knew. I need to invest in maybe like a compass. You come up from the depths of the city and it’s like the most disorienting thing ever.
  • I got home, changed, went back out to get groceries, and was back by 8:30 to eat dinner and make a nice cup of tea.

First day √


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