Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Chile Diary Chapter 14....26 March 2010

Boarding Pass to the rescue

Yesterday was a cold foggy day. Back in the guesthouse I curled up on my bed. I was hungry and cold and waiting eagerly for dinner. But home-cooked dinner wasn’t on the menu. We went out for Chinese. Awful! So we opted for Italian at Fellini. Yummilicious! I had a dish called Camarones al Pil Pil, which I washed down with sips of Pisco-sour. Pisco, I’m told is a Chilean drink which the Peruvians claim as theirs; A highly disputable claim according to the Chileans. It tasted like a wine but isn’t a wine. I liked it. The drink however is strong, a bit too strong for a teetotaller like me. It’s made from grapes which I suppose accounts for the wine like flavour. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal which I couldn’t finish, Pisco included. So the shrimp was packed as a take-away. The Pisco was wasted.

I must tell you how the Shrimp al Pil Pil is made...or how I think it is made. A lot of olive oil is heated up. A lot of garlic is chopped with a big red chillie. This is tossed into the hot oil which is on simmer and immediately followed by the shelled and washed camarones (shrimp). The oil is taken off the heat. The shrimp is allowed to stand in the oil for a while so that they get cooked. The shrimp used in this dish are a size smaller than medium. It is served in a bowl with oil et al. That’s what I deducted and Tintin endorsed. I plan to make many different Pil Pils....chicken, fish, cauliflower etc.

A new development in my ticket bookings highlighted what I already firmy believe, that God is watching out for me. The travel agent called very early in the morning to say that a hitch had developed as the records in Brazil showed that I hadn’t boarded the LAN flight to Santiago. The implication being that I had stayed in Brazil illegally. It was providence that my intuition prompted me to keep my Boarding Passes. I can recall how I pondered over throwing away the boarding passes. Something strange, considering such things are discarded as soon as one has reached one’s destination. But this time I gave in to my inner voice and kept the boarding passes, though I admit, I did feel a bit stupid retaining them. However after I heard from the travel agent about this new development, I don’t feel silly at all! A scan has been sent to the travel desk, I pray things are smoothened out and I have no trouble getting a return ticket.

As of now I have no idea when I’ll be leaving. They’re trying for the 9th of April, let’s see.

No, 9th April isn’t my day either. After a lot of running around LAN finally accepted the fault was at their office in Brazil, as their office at destination Chile had indeed registered me on the particular plane, and they agreed to issue my ticket, but the SA airlines declined to issue a ticket from Sao Paulo onwards, quoting the same reason. I believe the GRS is a system of booking tickets common to all airlines worldwide, and the failure of the machine to register my boarding became an issue again.

For some reason my trip to Chile has become a test of faith for me. It’s the first time I’m travelling abroad alone, and so much is happening. I quote Psalm 91 and Psalm 121 with trust and faith that my Lord never sleeps and he’ll keep me safe and secure through the entire journey back to Delhi. I’m physically worn out. Tired.I hum an old, melodious but lonesome song...

Koi humdum na raha, koi sahara na raha
Hum kisike na rahe, koi humara na raha.

(I have no soulmate, nor do I have any support.
I belong to no one, and no one belongs to me)

Kya bataoon main kahan, yunhi chala jaata hun
Jo mujhe raah dikhaye wohi taara na raha.

(How do I tell where I wander aimlessly
My guiding star, that showed me the way, is no more)



  1. You are an amazing lady to have made this trip on your own with so much happening to you. I would have broken down I'm afraid. I love your little song it is very melancholy.

  2. Marlene, I suppose most of us are unaware of our inner strengths, and what we are capable of. It takes a test to tap into those hidden reserves. I've had many opportunities to discover a few of mine...:)

  3. "Jo mujhe raah dikhaye wohi taara na raha"... these numbers will continue to resonate for ever. As you added Khushi "It takes a test to tap into those hidden reserves" Am sure you have enjoyed this fine one from Nursat sahib : Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho !

  4. Actually Raj, I haven't heard this one by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. I do not understand Urdu well, and it becomes difficult for me to appreciate classical/ sufi lyrics completely. I like old hindi film songs where the meanings are deep but the language is easier for me to comprehend. Thank you for the mention though....I did check out the number.