Took a trip into Santiago today to get a haircut and pick a a DVD player we had fixed. The DVD was stuck inside and it only played in black and white. The guy who does this type of work charges 150 pesos for anything you have done. He had it ready and reprogrammed in an hour. I also popped in to see my account.
As I drove into town I saw people from the gym, a few merchants and other friendly souls who wave and say "adios" as you drive by. I like it here and things have improved considerably since that tragic time just a little less than two years ago. New businesses are opening, people hanging out in the town square and things look pretty good overall.
I have to say though, that when I went to pick up the DVD player I didn't think it would be ready and wanted to drop off the remote in case he needed it. Well, he had already completed the work so I ran around the corner to the bank (literally because everything is so close) to use the ATM. When I had returned, there had been a small fender bender on the corner of the river and the funeral home. So I told the repairman, and we walked to the corner. Being such a small accident one would think it was no big deal. In fact, when I first saw it they were talking and inspecting bumpers.
Within minutes a crowd gathered. Everyone saying hello and giving their opinion on what happened and how even though no one had really seen the accident. The Mundo's Tacos is right in front so the woman in the accident sent her daughter to buy tacos and then the people eating tacos grabbed their plates and walked to the corner. Bicycles started to appear, traffic backing up and people getting out of their cars. Lo and behold the paletero (ice cream man) came up on his tricycle and people bought a few popcicles and sat on the steps of the funeral home and watched with anticipation as it all unfolded before them.
The whole thing reminded me of Andy Griffith and Mayberry. It was really a sight to see and one that made us all feel pretty good considering what we had been through the previous two years. It's not over by any means, but we have all learned to adjust, accept and live within the boundaries of this dilemma.