Travel bardo, lots of light and doing as the Chileans

Greetings from SCL,

Santiago International Airport for all those who don’t memorize airport codes for fun. I introduced Bobble Head Ted the the wonderful suitcase sculpture here in the Santiago Airport…made from “left luggage” I imagine it’s what baggage handlers would like to do to all of our bags. It’s a four story high stack of suitcases. I always thought it they were secure enough, they’d make a fun climbing structure.

I arrived here around 1:00 pm after a long over night flight that started with an epic battle to get everyone’s carry on luggage stored in the overhead bins. I lucked out easily but then it was pure chaos and almost came to fisticuffs a few rows up. It’s always been tricky but with people now needing to pay for a second bag, it was pure pandemonium even as they tried to board the plane in the first plane. I’d never seen the likes of it anywhere even in Kathmandu or Delhi…and this was in Toronto.

After we got all the luggage tucked in, the flight underway, and the meal service started, turbulence so rocked the plane that they asked the flight attendants to be seated after once got bounced in the air. Soon, we warm dinner in my belly and a gentle rocking, I managed to get some Z’s. The plane took off after midnight so I chuckled at today’s lojong slogan, “Meditate on what provokes resentment.” It seemed that almost every step of the travel process was bringing out resentment in the entire plane and I did a bunch of tonglen practice to ease all the stress I was picking up.

Been spending the day in the airport bardo. It’s 30 degrees outside so I’ve got out here and there but I don’t want my body to get the wrong idea about where we’re headed (i.e. the beach instead of the ice). It’s full blown summer here and the light in the evening sky is startling coming from the depths of North American darkness.

I got an earlier flight to Punta Arenas and have managed a hotel booking so that’s all good. Originally I wasn’t supposed to land until 5:00 am so I might actually get a little sleep tonight and start the process of settling in to the Southern Hemisphere. I do need to go check what way the water goes down the drain! I enjoyed a Pisco Sour, the Chilean National Drink, with my supper…it’s removed all travel resentment. When in Chile, do as the Chileans…

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