On Wearing Pizza

No pictures were taken during this escapade due to an intense fear of ruining my camera, so I leave all images to your imagination.

I was wearing pizza. I stood on the train, hovering unsurely by the door, wondering if the conductor could kick me off because I was too dirty. My friends nudged me onwards, pointing me towards our seats. The car was almost empty. The only other passengers besides my two friends and I were two young Chilean men, headed home after a long day of work. I placed plastic bags on the seats and sat down gingerly, afraid to touch too much of the cushion, for fear that the pizza dripping from my being would contaminate the freshly cleaned seats. It was my first time on a Chilean train.

I was ordering pizza. My friends and I were on our way to southern Chile for a vacation. We were taking a train, and it was my job to buy dinner for the trip.

“I want two pizzas, please,” I told the man behind the counter politely. The man gave me a strange look. Whether it was because of my accented Spanish or the 50 lb backpack strapped to my back, I couldn’t tell.

“How long will it take?” I continued undeterred.

“15 minutes,” he finally answered. I stood to a side to wait.

I was demanding pizza. “Give it to me right now,” I snapped at the woman trying to cut my pizzas with a pair of scissors.

“It will just take a minute,” she protested.

“The train is leaving in a minute,” I growled. I had sat in the restaurant for 30 minutes, watching as no less than five people put together my two pizzas. They had cut olives into slices, one by one placing them on the pizzas as if they were painting a masterpiece. They had then offered to microwave the pizzas for me, because “I don’t think you have an oven in your backpack to cook the pizzas, señorita.” Now, someone was trying to fashion boxes out of a pile of scrap cardboard, as I frantically leaned over the counter, trying to pull the boxes of pizza from their hands.

I was running with pizza. I had no idea where the train station was, and according to my friend’s phone call, I had exactly two minutes to make it there. The pizza makers yelled directions from behind as I ran through the town. At least the locals were amused.

I was dripping pizza. I stood on the train platform, unsure of how to get on the train. I held pizzas in my hands, but one of the boxes had sprung a leak. Every surface of my body was covered in sauce and cheese. “Por dios. Good god.” A man looked down at me from the train, appraising my appearance. Swiftly, he reached down, picked me up, and set me on the train, then walked off, shaking his head and muttering about crazy foreigners.

I was eating pizza. It took my friends and I 45 minutes, three bath towels, and an unnecessary amount of high-pitched giggling, coupled with some swearing from me, to quarantine the leaking pizza. The young men in the car had moved closer soon after our arrival so that they could watch the show. It was my last time on a Chilean train.

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