Travelling with my Mother…and Another: Journey begins.

Part 2: Santiago and San Pedro de Atacama.

Sally and Mum have their first dinner out in Santiago.
The waiter speaks little English. Mum attempts to communicate “vegetable soup” by drawing on a napkin.

The black ink is Mum’s drawings. There is a carrot, pumpkin and bowl of soup in there somewhere

Somehow, Mum gets what she wants.
Sally is annoyed that the waiter doesn’t understand her questions. She asks him “Why don’t you speak more English?”
Luckily, he doesn’t understand.

The next day we go sightseeing in Santiago. Sally walks around with her handbag open and her purse hanging out while she takes photos of every single building in sight. She complains that there are no take away coffee places.
We stop to get money out and she can’t remember her PIN. We spend 10 minutes going through her phone to try and find where she stored her PIN while a huge queue gathers behind. She tries one but it doesn’t work and gives up, blaming the bank.
After one night in San Pedro de Atacama Sally has to change rooms because her current room had already been booked out. Originally she didn’t mind moving rooms, but then changes her mind and proceeds to interrupt and talk over my Spanish conversation with Jose, the hotel owner, repeatedly in English. She keeps asking me if I can ask Jose if she can stay in her current room because she doesn’t want to share a bathroom with Mum and myself.
I didn’t think Jose understood much English, but I ask him a completely unrelated question about the breakfast in Spanish, to which he responds in Spanish, then looks at Sally and shakes his head no.

Sally has asked me every question
from “does it rain here?” to “why don’t they give change in American dollars?”, “what’s that hill called?” to “why can’t I pay in Australian dollars?” and asked me to do every translation for every menu and every sign, every question that I don’t know the answer to.
I begin to feel like Google tour guide and Google translate.

At this point Sally has decided that she would like to see Bolivia. Mum warns her that Bolivia is a poorer country than Chile, she won’t find her private bathrooms with hot water showers there.
Sally doesn’t believe that a country can’t have hot water available everywhere.
We book the 3 day 4WD trip from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni.


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