We were just about to sit down to lunch last Wednesday when the cutlery started jumping round the table. I stared at it while wondering whether to crawl under the table and then it suddenly went quiet. We asked the waiter whether that had been a “sismo” and he smiled cheerfully and said “Si”. We weren’t sure whether he had been having us on, but a report on the TV news that evening confirmed it. Then we found this article.
We had left Santiago about midday and had just arrived at our hotel in the Cajon de Maipo in the Andes where the earthquake had not been felt as much as in the capital.
Unfortunately my earlier earth-shaking encounter had not ended so well. Just a few days before I was attacked from behind by a scumbag who grabbed my necklaces and pulled, throttling me in the process and tearing my top. I started screaming like a demented banshee and managed to grab the pocket of his jacket. He raced off, pursued by an angry Scot, still screeching like something out of Tam O’Shanter. The jacket pocket was not equal to the strain of a thief trying to escape and a well-nourished victim trying to stop him. It tore and he got away. I was left surrounded by Chilean ladies murmuring “Pobrecita” and “Tranquilo”, learning the Spanish for necklace (la colleta if you want to know). And where were the carabineros? Husband thought that any copper within a two mile radius should have been alerted by the volume of my screams. Now I just have the scar on my neck, not really an adequate replacement for a necklace.