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The first whiff of real air after airconditioned, heated, dehydrated air on an overnight flight is damp. The breeze outside of JFK smells oceany. Like I just got hit in the face with a sheet of seaweed. And not nori. Something decidedly more rank.

After I get out of the car at my mother’s house, it smells like green. Freshly cut spinach, maybe even sauteed in the summer heat. With sesame oil. Or maybe I’m making that part up. It’s a culinary jungle out there.

Changing hemispheres gives you climate whiplash, for sure (thanks Pam of Nerd’seyeview , for the terminology, wordsmiths should hang together), but it also creates a wild smell sensitivity. Everything I don’t smell when I’m in Santiago, which so far has been humid summer heat (our summers are dry) comes swirling around me in an olfactory maelstrom. It’s a lot of input sometimes.

Tomorrow I’m off to meet my tribe, my people, the other travel bloggers with whom I exchange emails and messages and tweets on an hourly/daily/weekly basis. TBEX is a’happening, and for me it will be filled with meeting coworkers from here and here and an editor or two from here and a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a few months, or even a few years, and many of whom I’ve never seen in the northern hemisphere.

But maybe that’s not interesting to you, and you came to get the dirt on Santiago. I don’t have any dirt at the moment, but do have two aromatic things to share that you might wish you knew about or had access to.

First, a recipe and description of navegado, a Chilean mulled wine that’s perfect for today’s frigid temps. It’s getting down below freezing there tonight, and I really feel for everyone, especially people like Domingo, who really have no protection from the cold.

And then, a perfect $5 lunch in Santiago for the sandwich-lovers in all of you. In all truth, I had to invite a friend to eat this juicy chacarero, because I don’t eat meat. And it would seem she’s hooked. The next week we were back again to try some more of the sauces on our sandwiches. And a hint: if you’re like me, and don’t eat meat, you can drop the price significantly. And for all that is good and right for your stomach, I beseech you to get the small, not the large.

And in other news, Chile plays Spain today at 2 PM EST in the world cup, our last match of group H. So far, we’ve beat Honduras and Switzerland, both 1-0. If we could dust off and do it again, that would be a colossal feat, and would position us well for the next round. And yes, I’ve blogged about the World Cup, and Chile’s roll in it as well. Here on bearshapedsphere (it’s one word, people!) and on Nileguide as well, here and here.

So in short, stuff smells, people are good, Santiago has tasty food and drink, and Vamos Chile! Oh yes, and more than my fair share of links. But you like that.

See you post TBEX!