Sunday, 05.15.2011 - 5:32 pm.
I'm tempted to say seeing Paul McCartney live is a dream come true, but I truly never even dreamed of that. Sure, I did it with Aerosmith, years and years of hoping and praying, and it paid off. But Paul McCartney, once part of The Beatles, was way out of my league.
And yet, there I was last wednesday, in Santiago, getting ready to attend his concert. I took a midnight bus and got off of it at 8:30 am. I walked out of the bus and into the city, to take the metro. This city seemed to me so heartless, with a never-ending flow of people looking empty.
I caressed a street dog who was really sick, people would just pass him by. He could barely walk and had his tail between his legs. He reminded me of Frog in her last days, I guessed he had some sort of kidney condition. Such a heartbreaking thing to see. It was a labrador, all dirty and with the saddest eyes. He leaned next to me to be caressed even more. I'm getting obssessed with stray dogs and cats and finding something to do about it...I'll let you know how that goes.
Andrew was awesome, as usual, and handed me maps and information to make my way around Santiago smoothly. He was a phone call away all the time and helped me a lot. I checked into my hotel after a 20-minute ride. I rested for a while and then I waited for the phone call of a gal from my country.
She also won a scholarship from the agency. We were in constant communication since we found out we had been chosing, along with another guy, and we were a lot of help for each other during our preparation and arrival to Chile. This was the first time I'd meet her in person, though.
So we met at a metro station and travelled underground for a while. We went sightseeing for the whole morning and then had lunch at a fancy mall, at the cheapest restaurant on the food court. And then we met with another compatriot at a caf�; I'd met him before, the last time I went to Santiago. We first became acquaintances on Twitter, now he's a significant member of my modest social network in the capital of Chile.
My dad says there are good samaritans everywhere. Just like it happened when I travelled to see Aerosmith in Costa Rica, almost a year ago (seems like longer), I'd found two people from my own country in a city unknown to me, who gave me their time and energy to take me places and hang out. I am truly grateful, and I hope to return the favor one day, or just pay it forward.
At 4 pm, I returned to my hotel and took a cab to the stadium. The lines were endless, 50 thousand people said the news, but my seat was numbered. I could have arrived much later, but I was alone and I chose to walk around in daylight to know my surroundings. After the concert, I had to know where I was to call for a cab.
The concert: OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! HOLY SHIT, it took my fucking breath away!!!! Paul McCartney is a god, just delightful, very funny and pleasant, a real monster of rock at 69. Talented and with so much energy that he performed non-stop for two hours and a half. I love him. He's amazing, and so cute when he speaks spanish.
Perhaps I was a little dissapointed that I wasn't closer. I've been spoiled with Aerosmith, I guess. But again, seeing Paul McCartney in the flesh is much more than I'd have bargained for. I couldn't believe it, I still can't believe I was there, and I get all beatlemaniac when I remember the concert. Fuck, do you realize that within one year I've seen Aerosmith and Paul McCartney, my favorite bands EVER (well, Paul as part of The Beatles, but his solo stuff is genius, too) in two countries other than my own?! Who would have thought, huh?! I feel too awesome.
I called Andrew during "Live and let die", because weeks ago, I'd informed him that such Guns 'n' Roses song was a McCartney original. It was the peak of the show in terms of energy, with fireworks and howling and slamming the piano. There are tons of highlights, like the songs dedicated to John and George, and the drummer dancing (I LOVE THAT GUY) as Sir Paul strummed a mandolin for "dance tonight".
I met a guy there, too. He was in the seat next to me and it turned out the two of us had come alone, what a coincidence. We talked a lot, got to know each other while the show started. At times during the concert I got the feeling he was leaning too much into me and I perceived some sort of interest on his part, but I could be wrong, and even if I wasn't, I had no desire to play along (after all, I'm in a relationship). I think I saw a wedding ring on his finger, too. He was cute, yes, but that's about it. I gave him my e-mail and we said we'd be friends on FB because we'd shared a very special evening (very true), but I haven't heard from him and I haven't searched either. Still, I'm glad I wasn't entirely alone during the concert.
When it was over, I walked with the masses, but a little nervous. The two cab companies I called had nothing available and one driver tried to stiff me, taking me to the hotel for 15,000 pesos. Jeez, speak with a different accent and people try to take advantage of you. No way in hell. I texted Andrew and he sent me some phone numbers, but in the end, I walked all the way back, as if returning to the stadium, and found a cab that took me for 3,250 pesos. That's quite the difference, eh?
I slept well. But three times I've had to sleep in a hotel and three times I haven't enjoyed as I'd want. When I went to Costa Rica, I only slept there six hours; my first time in Santiago, I couldn't sleep in. And this either. I woke up at 5:30 am and took the 6:10 am transfer to the airport. It was that or riding the metro again and taking a bus to the airport, but even if it was cheaper and I could've slept some more, at that ungodly hour of the day it was still dark and so I didn't dare.
I had a breakfast of champions: two donuts from Dunkin' Dounts, hooray. My flight was leaving at 9 am, but I know Temuco, it's always foggy and I figured the flight would be delayed for an hour or so. I was right about it being delayed but not about the time.
Five hours I waited. Add to this three more hours since I'd arrived to the airport. I'd taken something from my classes to read but still it was a bit excruciating. There was a TV but they showed the same news clips over and over.
However, one of those clips was about the concert...I must've seen it like 10 times, two times per hour. But when it was finally time to board the plane, it came on again, and even though I was exhausted, I thought it was all worth it, just to see Paul McCartney.
I arrived to Temuco at 4 pm, and not at 10:30 am as scheduled. My schedule was thus messed up. I also had a meeting for the diabetes project (which my thesis will be based on), and it was from 6 to 10 pm. Killer. Anyway, at the airport I found the nicest cab driver who took me to the university, so I could get the departament keys from Andrew, and then I walked from the university to the department. I unpacked my Paul McCartney poster (fuck yeah!) and downloaded the pictures and videos, my loot, my treasured trophies.
The next day, friday. I felt like I'd lost an entire day, thursday, and I was behind many things I had to do. I had this mix of euphoria and dispair, and I was trying to adjust to new things. Andrew had just bought a giant bed for the two of us and we switched rooms. I sleep now in what used to be his bedroom. I mean, we sleep there.
And I got sick, I have a very uncomfortable flu. But I still think, seeing Paul McCartney is worth all this, hell, yes. I'm wholeheartedly grateful for that.
This week I hope to catch up on my work and celebrate my two months with Andrew on the 18th. Just out of tradition, I know on the 17th I'll think that I could be celebrating eight years since I started dating Joseph, although he's a distant, non-threatening memory now. Just once my heart has ached these months, when I remembered I was replaced by that girl and all that it implied....it hurt a lot, but the pain went away quickly. Perhaps I still think of Joseph everyday, but I can't even assure you so. I have better things to think about.
I must try to go back to updating more regularly.