Adapting to a New Environment
By Saúl Miranda Ramos
Human beings are very adaptable. We can live in most climates of the world. In the past, people tended to stay in the place they were born, but now we move easily from countryside to city, from one part of the country to another, and even from country to country. Each place has its own customs and ways to life, and countries also have different languages. When I moved from Mexico to Chile, I had to made several adjustments to my life.
I had to adapt to a very extreme climate. At first, Santiago de Chile is pretty warm in summer. Since October the hot weather coming rising up until 40ºC or more, and the sun rays are aggressive. Thus, in these days people use to go to the beach and spend time in pools with sun protection cream. Although, Santiago is too cold in winter. Since April-May the cold weather is arriving and the polar windy arrives. People use to stay at home near the warm, watching movies, drinking tea and eating empanadas. In short, I had to adapt to two different kinds of climates in a same year at the same place.
People in Chile eat healthier than in Mexico. Typically, at University of Chile I used to eat bread, salad, meat and fruit; in contrast, in Universities from Mexico we use to eat tortas, tamales, and tacos, a meal rich in carbohydrates. Another illustration, in Chile people use to take lunch since 1 to 2:30 p.m. if you do not eat at this time, you could lose lunch because kitchens and restaurants use to close. Conversely, in Mexico you can eat whenever you want because we do not have a discipline in our time meals. In summary, the hours and types of food are different and enhanced in Chile than in Mexico.
In Santiago, getting shelter is too difficult. First of all, people use to be sure you are not a foreign when you want to rent an apartment because they have their reservations with everyone is different in culture. Moreover, the apartments are too small, expensive, and in most times: shared. Including walls made of cardboard, and no permission to have visitors. To sum up, obtaining a good place to live is no easy in Santiago and I learned to live in that way.
In conclusion, I wonder sometimes if I am the same person I was before I moved. By adjusting my climate, my food and my shelter, I may appear to others as if I am a new person. However, I think of it not as having changed but as having grown.