>Today I was coming home from class on the metro and a woman asked me if the train we were on went towards Salvador. Someone asking me for directions is not the rare part. This happens all the time despite the fact that I look pretty foreign. Luckily for whoever is asking I am good at maps and directions so I can usually answer them if they choose to listen after first hearing my “thick” gringa accent. But I digress. I told the woman that yes, this train passed the Salvador station, and that in fact I got off there so I would tell her. She thanked me and then commented about how she only rides on Linea 4 and how Linea 1 confuses her. I shared that I only ride on Linea 1 usually and that Linea 4 confused me. We laughed. Then she asked where I was from, I told her the US. She said she had family in New York, I told her I lived near there. It was a very nice, casual conversation with a stranger.
And then I got home and realized she had stolen all of my money.
Just kidding! Haha. That’s what’s so rare about this whole encounter. Usually when someone is friendly to me in Santiago I think the worst: either they’re going to swindle me or they want to find a gringa girlfriend to sponsor their trip to the US. But this lady was just genuinely friendly and it made my day. When we got off the train she even gave me a kiss to say goodbye.
When I’m pissed off at the Santiaguinos, I’ll just have to remember this incident and realize that there are some gems out there in this cement jungle.