On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turning our way
And our way, is on the road again
                                                                   Willie Nelson

Well, no complaints about the shoes, and he is wearing them everywhere. 

I left the apartment yesterday. I was a little worried, because the woman had wanted to charge me more money. I thought she might ask me for more money, or complain about something in the apartment. But, when we left, she was very nice and said goodbye and took the keys. We had taken all of our thing over to Yesenia’s earlier in the day, so I  think she wasn’t sure that I was leaving, so maybe that’s why she was nice:) 

We went to Yesenia’s for dinner. Aodhan was doing really great. He was very excited and happy for most of the evening. He was pretty good at the bus terminal, but he got agitated and anxious because the bus was taking so long before they would let us get on. 

When he tried to get on the bus, the man made him leave his suitcase under the bus. He freaked out, but he did in the end. He tried to get to get off the bus and get the suitcase and I had to physically restrain him in his seat. We finally started driving and the rest of the trip was somewhat uneventful. He did keep poking me and pinching me to wake me up and ask me about Christmas and about other similar things. 

We finally got to Tacna, and got in a collectivo to go across the border. He was alright with his suitcase going in the trunk. We checked out of Peru, and then drove to the Chilean border. The Chilean boarder said we had to wait an hour. I found out later, that they are on strike. The collectivo left us there and collected half the fee, and we had to take a different collectivo on the other side once we were through

The female guard made Aodhan empty all his pockets. What a job that was. They sat there staring as he pulled out broken bits of ceramic mug, old bits of fruit (eek), scrunched up tiny shreds of paper and an assortment of unidentifiable bits of refuse. I told the lady in Spanish that he was autistic, and I said por favor, todos en la basura, por favor, (please, all of it in the garbage, please). She told him it all had to go in the garbage an smiled at me. I could have kissed her as she made him put it all in the bag. Later he said that he should not have taken all that stuff. Maybe he can learn.

When I got in to Tacna, my bank cards would not work in any machine. I was kind of expecting it to be difficult to find a bank that took my cards, but I couldn’t find any that would work. I finally took a cash advance from my visa card, I’m sure at a horrific cost. It would only give me the equivalent of about $40, and charged me about $6.50 to do it. That does not include the crappy exchange rate they will give me, or the fact that I will have to pay interest immediately.

We went to the hostel which was lovely. The man who runs it offered Aodhan food, and before I could say anything, Aodhan was wolfing down large white wheat filled buns. 

Aodhan went for a walk down to the beach, and then came back and fell asleep for a long time. I went back downtown for a walk and Aodhan started to come with me, but decided to go back, or maybe to the beach again first.

I still couldn’t get any of my bank cards to work, so I changed over my 500 Peruvian Soles. (about $175). That should last a few days anyway. Maybe I will have to get Greg to wire me some money through Western Union or something. Anyway, the flight tomorrow is paid for, and so is the hotel in Santiago.

My friend Milo, who I met in Arica when I was here four years ago, finally got in touch. He had gone to Tacna to go shopping, in the morning, and had gotten stuck in the border strike fiasco. He tried to cross later in the morning, and was stuck there for 4 or 5 hours. He could have gotten there just after we did, because we were first in line and there was a very, very long line which formed while we were waiting the hour. They were only letting one person in every five or ten minutes, or more.

We met Milo downtown for coffee, and had a great time and a great chat. Aodhan had sorbet, and I hope it was dairy free - it was lemon flavoured, so I think it was. The cone, however, of course had wheat. Everything they sell here has wheat. At least in Santiago I have an apartment, and I will cook.

We came back to the hostel, and Aodhan wanted to watch TV in the other room. I sat with the other people there chatting and having a great time and feeling like a human again, while we ate our suppers. Aodhan came down, and I had forgotten to lock our room door. He has been so good. He went in the room, and came out with two sweaters, a small blanket, a scarf and a towel wrapped around him. We had a bit of a disagreement about that. Even though I was trying to be as calm as possible, and not grab anything of grab him, and just talk him down, he pushed his book into my wrist and twisted and hit me with the book. He bruised my wrist again. 

In the end, he gave up the scarf and towel, but kept the two sweaters and the blanket. He also took his arm out of one side of his backpack. I felt I wouldn’t get any further, and decided to call a truce. He put his pajama bottoms on and went to bed. 

All the people in the hostel deserted the area like rats from a sinking ship. No one said even one more word to me that evening. Not even good night, or have anything, they just talked to each other, and walk past me silently, keeping their eyes averted. No one knew just what to say or do. I do not blame them, it must look awful.

Later I went in to talk to Aodhan about the airplane tomorrow morning, and he said that there was an apple core in his pants pocket, and gave me his empty jello container so that he wouldn’t get stopped at the border. 

I put those things away “safely” in the circular file for safe keeping. I was chatting with Greg on my i-phone, telling him how sad I felt, and how lonely, and how much I wish I could come home right now, after having such a good evening, and then being ignored because no one knew how to react. Everyone just thinks he is a badly behaved kid because I am a horrible parent. None of these people are parents, or know what a struggle it is to cope with an autistic teenager, and what a difficulty it is for an autistic teenager to cope with himself.

I realized that I had not hugged Aodhan good night, and I went in and gave him kiss after kiss. He pretended to struggle and push me away, but he let me kiss him for quieter a while while he grinned ear to ear. Finally he hugged me for about four seconds, which is an extraordinarily long hug for Aodhan. I really needed a hug so much, and that made everything so much better.

After that, I finished typing my blog. A couple of the guys actually said goodnight, and one of them actually asked me what my blog was, and asked me to send it to him, which I did. It felt really nice that someone talked to me. I am so tired, and lost two hours between Peru and Chile, and I have to get up at 4:30 to catch the van to the airport. I have had a talk with the owners, and asked them not to offer Aodhan any bread in the morning. I have some chicken and an apple ready to go.

We are in Chile now!

Aodhan explaining how the steering system of a car works. Milo said that he didn't know that the tires turn slightly different amounts when a car turns.

On the bus ride down the coast.

The bus that we took.

Lovely sunset over the ocean.

Sunny Days Hostel. It is simple, but very friendly and a great place to stay. I highly recommend it.

Inside Hostel Sunny Days.