Posted in Personal Blogging

I’m Feeling Patriotic

Okay, not really. But I’m Chilean! and it’s September! so we have to partypartyparty and celebrate for the first time in the year (unless there was a particularly good football match) that we don’t hate our country.

Disclaimer: We do hate our country. We hate many things about our country. In general we hate many things.

Warning: Do not read this if you’re emetophobic.

Okay, let’s be serious before I go off on a tangent and can’t bring myself back from it. September is “El mes de la patria” here in Chile. On September 18th we supposedly celebrate our independence, but in all truth we just celebrate the first Junta Nacional de Gobierno… or when some dudes got together to legislate shit… er don’t quote me on that.

So, why do we care so much about this? Well, it’s the one thing were we can “go big or go home” and oh boy, we do go big. Parades, parties, federal holidays that sometimes mean you can take a week off of school. Oh, and you spend the first two weeks of the month and even the last weeks of August preparing for 18 so there’s practically no classes. In school. In college it just means you have almost an entire week off and professors can’t evaluate things during that week because some of us live the fuck away from college and need extra time to travel back home. (Have you seen Chile on a map? some people study in Santiago and live in like the ass of the world… they need at least a day to get back to their families and partypartyparty)

So it’s a beautiful time to spend time with your family, eat some barbecues, dance/listen to cueca/cumbias/whatever-your-family-is-into and drink to forget all of life’s pains… there are a lot… Or you can go out to fondas, both official and non-official, which are basically big fairs with booths were you can buy food, trinkets, booze, more booze, junk food, and some traditional Chilean games (yeah, that’s a thing).

I have done both.

And I have a story about this for you guys. So hold on tight and read some humiliating things about my life.

First of all, I am the youngest of three sisters in a reasonably Catholic family (is there such a thing as a “reasonably Catholic” anything?) and I am seen by everyone everywhere as the baby or “pollito” (little chicken, chicken little? who knows). This means I don’t drink, I don’t party, I don’t do anything that is not reading quietly in my corner and sometimes brood at my loudest cousins.

Fact check: I do drink, I sometimes party, and I’m not always reading. Though I do really, really love books!

Why is this relevant? you may ask. Well, these facts are important to understand the story I am about to share with you.

So, a couple of years ago my sister and I went out at night to a Fonda the same night we were supposed to go to out grandparents’ house to celebrate with the rest of the family. I don’t really remember why we wanted to go out since that is usually more of my other sister’s thing (let’s call her Kari… a name she hates by the way).

So my eldest sister (let’s call her Laura) and I went out to a public fonda on almost the outskirts of our town because we wanted to drink terremotos that were not home made. Kari didn’t go with us because she was already at my grandparents’ house because of a funny story I might share later.

Note: Chile is known worldwide by its seismic activity. We have a typical drink called Earthquake which is Pipeño (a type of sweet white wine), pineapple ice cream, and grenadine, that you drink in really tall glasses to get wasted pretty fast. An earthquake, you know, to leave you wobbly on your feet?

Laura and I went out, wearing our very best (now that’s a lie, but I was wearing high heels and a short skirt) to what amounts to a public fair of food and alcohol set in what had become an open field of mud.

We got there at the right time. People had obviously been there for a while but the partying wasn’t dying down (let’s say a silent prayer for the guy that almost threw up on my shoes when I arrived) and there were more drunk teens than not (people in the countryside will not really bitch at you if you’re underage and drinking… unless they are your parents, or assholes). We picked a good fonda (it didn’t look seedy and the lady that owned it is our mother’s friend) and sat down on an empty table.

Note: Everyone tells you not to drink on an empty stomach, but I tell you don’t over do it and drink on a too-full stomach… specially if the too full is due to french fries and Fanshops (Fanshop: Beer + Fanta).

We placed our order (one liter of Terremoto) and waited for the jug to be brought to our table.

Then we proceeded to drink a liter of Terremoto between the two of us while we talked. This was before my sister took a job at the local Liceo so she wasn’t hiding from any of her students as she would now… suffice to say we won’t be going out this year.

After the poor jug was drained off its contents Laura and I decided to walk around and check if anyone was selling Macedonia (more sweet wine with different kinds of fruits in it… we sure love our wine here in Chile). Sadly no one was selling Macedonia that met my sister’s standards, but we did find a booth that sold fried cheese empanadas yum! As my sister walked and I tiptoed my way around (heels + mud = disaster) we were approached by some people that are Kari’s friends and thought they’d see her there. One of them kept looking at Laura’s cleavage and slurring their words way too close to my face…. It brings me comfort to think that I once made him cry when we were kids.

So in the end I only drank like half a liter of Terremoto, and then walked around and ate empanadas. I was fine!

…Yeah.

The point is that I would have been fine if not for two factors: That wasn’t all I had drank that day (hello fanshop) and we were driving to our grandparents’ house that is like 40 minutes away from my hometown.

I was screwed even before this shit started.

Laura and  walked back from the fondas to the town square (that’s like two blocks away, give or take) and we were fine.

My dad picked us up and we went to pick up one of my cousins that had been staying at a friend’s house. Then it was onward but not upwards to our final destination.

Now, you need to know something about my dad, if he can be and asshole about something he will (I don’t mean this in a mean ‘he hates us all kind of way… He just thinks he’s soooooo funny. He is. But let’s never tell him that). So he didn’t drive like a normal person would’ve driven but drove like an absolute asshole, twisting and turning sharply to move us around in the back.

So obviously I was feeling dizzy.

Did I tell him to stop?

Fuck no. I was not a quitter. We could all play this game.

A thing you need to know about me is that I am stubborn as fuck and I hate looking weak. Like I get super embarrassed and aggressive about it. Another thing you need to know is that I have learnt how to cope with bad feelings in a not so healthy way. The last thing you need to know is coping with feelings is not the same as coping with nausea. So my tried and tested method of “letting the feeling consume me so that it doesn’t feel so bad after a while” failed spectacularly.

Just when this was happening and I had my eyes closed and I was allowing the nausea to take over my body, my dad made a sharp turn and Laura talked to me.

I may or may not have vomited a little on my mouth at that point.

I should have made a hand motion or something to let my fellow passengers know that I was an imminent ticking bomb of vomit.

But I was drunk!

So the best option for me at the moment was trying to swallow what I had vomited back to answer my sister and prove that I was okay.

BIGGEST FUCKING MISTAKE EVER.

There’s this thing called gag reflect. It has hated me ever since.

To put it bluntly, I puked. I puked against the hand that was trying to keep the disgustingness inside my body, and it went all the way into the sleeve of my jacket to pool at my elbow.

Ew.

I had triggered my gag reflex so badly that I vomited all over my arm, my skirt and a little bit of my backpack that was on my lap.

Laura and my cousin (let’s call her Nina) burst out laughing and made dad stop the car.

So, you know…. I was drunk, I wasn’t looking where we were. I just wanted to puke my guts out in peace. Was that too much to ask?

Apparently.

Laura got off the car with my and patted my back as all good people do. Nina was too busy laughing her ass off to be of any help… okay not true, she was cleaning up the mess I left behind in the car.

So there we were, halfway to my grandparents’ house, jacket and clothes splashed with the contents of my stomach.

It smelled so bad.

Oh, and we were right outside a minimarket.

So fuck my life, right?

Except Laura got the brilliant idea of going inside to buy a bottle of water (dehydration is a real thing) and convince the lady at the counter that -this is where the “pollito” card comes into play- I was a kindergarten teacher coming home for the holidays and one of my students had a stomach flu and I had caught it.

Now picture this: There’s my sister Laura earnestly telling the sad story of my holidays, selling it for all that’s worth. Then there’s me, wearing heels and vomit that smelled the way a liquor store smells after an earthquake, or possibly Haymitch’s house, swaying from side to side to a tune only I could hear, feeling the distant rumble of the drums of doom announcing a new bout of vomiting was coming any second. And finally an old lady who has probably already seen too much shit in her lifetime to have to put up with a girl vomiting her front yard and pretending to be a hardworking teacher who puts up with kids for a living.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have bought Laura’s story even for a penny.

Luckily, this old lady didn’t see past Laura’s earnest exterior because she looked at me with the best impression of a grandmother who’s seen a baby being dropped off into her all to willing but withered arms, and then gave us some carbon pills to “settle my stomach.”

I wish that had been all the injustice we did unto that poor old lady, but nope. Stubbornness had to strike again.

Laura had to go out to get more money to buy something (? don’t really remember) and I decided it was for the best if I stayed inside, silently swaying to the drums of doom.

Big mistake.

The drums of doom were not an empty threat… they hinted at true evilness about to be unleashed from the deepest part of my stomach, and I, the swaying grass on the breeze, was helpless to stop them. This is the point where normal people smile awkwardly at the old lady and then go out to empty the contents of their stomachs in peace where others cannot see… others not from their immediate family.

This is the point where I stood there, frozen by sheer stubbornness, made intense eye contact with the only other customer in the store and then proceeded to throw up all the way from isle 3 to the exit of the building. I met Laura on the way out and she tutted amused. I almost lost it and died of laughing + chocking on my own vomit when the old lady’s “Oh, no. I hope she gets better soon. She looks like such a sweet girl.” reached my ears.

Suffice to say I am never going there again.

This is usually where the story ends, right?

Not for me.

I got on the car (oh, Nina and my mom cleaned my jacket + backpack with half a packet of wet wipes -my jacket was faux leather- so the smell wasn’t too terrible) and we kept driving over to meet the rest of the family. At this point it was almost 1 AM.

What comes next is 20 minutes of my dad’s jokes about: 1) drunkenness, 2) vomiting, 3) me possibly never touching a drink again (I proved him wrong the next day by drinking a Terremoto right in front of him…. a mistake since I don’t know if you know, but once a drink comes back up it will never taste the same way for you. EVER) and other things that I can’t really remember.

Then we finally make it to my grandparents’ house where Laura once again told everyone that I wasn’t feeling okay and so I was going to go to bed early (to my family’s standards).

And you know what? Everyone believed her. Even while my mom laughed and my dad made jokes, no one questioned the story.

Then comes the best part of the story.

I have already mentioned that I looked drunk as all fuck, and that I smelt like an alcoholic’s worst nightmare, and that no one questioned Laura’s story.

So after I had taken a quick shower (super, super quick) vomited everything left in my stomach (a black mess since I had decided to take the old lady’s pills) and was wearing fresh pajamas borrowed from an aunt, Kari came into the room.

Now remember that I’m still pretty drunk or at least so dehydrated that it feels the same way. There are no drums of doom so I’m feeling confident enough that if my head touches a pillow I’m down for the count. And Laura is sitting with me on the bed laughing about what happened and telling me that mom was going to put my clothes on the washing machine so the smell wouldn’t stick.

Kari walked in as all of this was happening.

She took one look at my face, at Laura, at the soiled clothes by Laura’s feet and the first thought that came to her head, the first thing she said, taking all of this into account and the fact that it was September 17th, was: “DID YOU SHIT YOURSELF?!” as loud as humanly possible.

What followed is two straight minutes of hysterical laughter and a pounding in my head assuring me that nope, you’re not drunk anymore, and your body hates you for what you put it through.

After we told Kari the entire story, she laughed with us and then complained at the injustice of it all because “if it had been me everyone would’ve just assumed I was piss off drunk. I can’t believe everyone fell for that.”

“Yeah,” I said warily, still waiting for another round of the drums of doom. “Grandma even came over and offered me soup. I told her no thanks. Wouldn’t want to throw that up.”

And so I slept.

I woke up, started a new day, drank half a glass of Terremoto that tasted like bad decisions and poor judgement, and to this day everyone thinks I had a stomach flu. And I maintain that if my dad hadn’t been driving like a madman I wouldn’t have gotten sick.

**

What about you, whoever you are reading this? Do you have any funny/disgusting/interesting drunken story you’d like to share. Trust me I’d love to hear it, and hey! It could make for cool Never-Have-I-Evers when I’ve already ran out of ideas.

Example: Never have I ever gotten pissed off drunk and puked but my family believed I was actually sick.

or, Never have I ever puked in a car.

Now you know I have.

L.

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Author:

23-year-old writer from Chile. Currently reading, writing, and trying not to lose my mind.

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