After five days in Santiago, it was time to take a break and see the Pacific Ocean again. Like many Chileans, we escaped to Valparaíso, a two-hour bus ride from the capital.
Despite the museums and churches, Mark had been difficult all week. Around Feng, he acts whiny and goofy. Around me, he tries to show off. Good cop, bad cop. Tough love versus fun. I don’t always like to be the “bad one” but Mark can be amazingly smart and perceptive with me and this is my reward.
On Friday, Feng had to work (we take turn, we still work on the road) so Mark spent most of the day with me. Gone was the whiny boy who always needs his beloved pacifier and the stroller! He handed me the pacifier and walked, climbed stairs and was overall a pleasure to be with.
“Mark is sitting with me,” I said as we boarded the bus. I wanted to see if he could enjoy the ride instead of watching the tablet like he usually does with Feng.
Again, Mark handed me the pacifier and I encouraged him to look out of the window.
“See the mountains over there? We are going past the mountains, to the ocean.”
I bought cotton thread in Santiago to make friendship bracelets, the kind I used to make through my teenage years, listening to Nirvana and being angry. Some people smoke pot or get drunk, I used to draw and make stuff. To each his own, I guess. I needed to keep my hands busy (cigarettes came much later…) and I was constantly making stuff, including during boring classes in high school.
Did I still know how to make the damn bracelet?
It didn’t start out very well, especially with Mark playing with the threads and the fact I had forgotten to pack my scissors to cut it. I asked Mark to be patient and I asked the passengers in front of me for scissors. I was given a nail clipper and Mark settled down.
I started to make knots and Mark was appropriately amazed.
We chatted. About the mountains, the ocean. He confessed he wasn’t really Dragon Warrior, something I highly suspected all the way. He admitted he was Mark. I said I liked Mark better than rebellious dragon warrior. We took pictures.
Two hours went by very fast.
“I think we are here!”
The bracelet isn’t finished yet. It’s okay, we still have the bus ride back in a few days.
I hope I get to ride with Mark-the-cute-boy again instead of whiny Dragon Warrior.