You can never do the same thing twice.
If anything, this is a lesson that I have learned, here in Santiago on the second visit.
Not that it’s been bad. On the contrary. It’s been great fun to be back, it’s been familiar, and easy.
It has not been the same, rather a smooth continuation of the first time I ‘lived’ here, back in December 2013. It felt as if I continued that stay seamlessly, not that more than a year had passed since I left.
The same thought would apply to the second time I was in Melbourne, and I guess it will be like that in Buenos Aires, but it became clear to me here.
When I decided to go back to Melbourne, Santiago and Buenos Aires, at the end of my journey, I tried to stay in the same places, meet everyone again, somehow recreate the exact same conditions, as if I could force it to be the same, like a scientific experiment.
Same ingredients = same outcome.
But of course, you cannot. And that’s a good thing, and a fundamental characteristic of life. You have to accept it, and go along with it.
I met a lot of my old friends again, but I also haven’t met some, that somehow drifted out of view, or didn’t have time… For that, I have met some new people, maybe some friends.
Yesterday I walked into Barrio Italia, one of my favorite places in Santiago, and it became really clear to me: life moves on, it’s never static, as much as I wish to re-live certain moments, be in the same places again, or be with the same people.
I knew that the little improvised restaurant, La Jardin, had closed its doors in the meantime. I was prepared for that. But next to it was the fun cultural center Mil M2, with its various markets, events, disco and art…
All that was left of both places was a massive hole in the ground. Not sure if they are building a metro there or simply a huge, huge tower.
At night, I was longing for those delicious empanadas, in a small joint in Bellavista. They had an amazing choice, and I just wanted to have them again. I think it’s a Falafel place now.
A city lives, moves on, changes, builds, destructs. People move in your life, and out of it, move on, or stay but still it will not be the same.
This is a good thing, come to think of it, but something you have to come to learn, accept, love.
Even if you wish you could recreate the same experience, the same crazy, head-over-heels weekend with someone…. it just won’t happen.
So let it be. And let it go. Move on and enjoy whatever the city, whatever life throws in your face.
It’s not that I have mastered that lesson. Not at all. But at least I have seen it, and I hope to learn it.