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Every now and then I get unsolicited “fan mail,” which is only sometimes about Santiago and what it’s like here, and sometimes is about how I get my ideas and only about half of that is from my mother. I like being connected to people, and I love the idea that my aimless blatherings with a side of tangential whatsamawhosis can bring a moment or two of levity, or might even (gasp) make you think from time to time.

I’ve just been twittered (because heaven forbid I spend even one iota of my short life without input from someone I only know in a country I like to call computerlandia) by a new good friend inside the computer recommending that I apply for a position in Lonely Planet’s crack blogging team to blog about Santiago. I’ll be honest; I don’t actually tend to write about Santiago as much as I tend to write about every other thing that crosses my mind while I’m crossing the street or my eyes staring at the computer screen for the umpteenth hour. But I wake up with words on my fingertips and also on the tip of my tongue, a veritable thoughstorm that wants to come out, which makes me sound much more in need of psychiatric intervention than is actually the case. And if someone wants to add me to a team, or offer me another platform or even (gasp!) pay me, well then, sign me up.

And so I did.

And thus, a blog entry was born, at this, nearly 1 AM Chile time on Feb 6th, just a few short days before I go on what is alleged to be the first ever Smith family vacation. Alleged because we’ll believe it when we see it. We have reason to doubt, we do. But we’re optimistic all the same. And just a little bit superstitious, which is why we’re not going to Costa Rica, which is a whole story in and of itself.