I never looked upon moving as a stressful situation. In the seven years we’ve lived together, Louise and I have moved six times, not counting the mini-moves we made during our year of travel. Excepting one, all those moves were exciting and optimistic, untroubled and confident. Excepting one. And that one put me in the hospital.
“How IS the country?” asked my friend Patricia after opening the door to her teeny tiny tony Paris flat.
I allowed how it was just fine.
“Je DETESTE la campagne!” she announced firmly, indicating that she was not about to come to Martizay to return my visit anytime soon.
Sometime after my second heart attack I decided to sell my beloved red bike and buy Buzz, the bike I ride today. Unlike my red bike, Buzz is electric. He monitors the effort that I put into pedaling and, when he decides I’m working too hard, offers to help out. Riding Buzz is like being twelve years old again.
Without judgment and certainly without malice, I consider Louise to be an obsessive traveler. Consider this quote from the blog: “I live in fear that somebody back home will ask: ‘You were in Barcelona? Didn’t you love La Sagrada Familia?’ No, we actually never got there. And it would be my fault, wouldn’t it?”
We’ve been back in Portland for two months now. Despite a flurry of resettling in a new apartment, reuniting with old friends, and pestering the children, we’ve been ruminating on the meaning of it all, the things learned on our year abroad, and the answers to the questions that people ask us all the time.
We thought this blog was over, but there’s been a great outpouring of “Now what?” Maybe two or three people, even! So here we are, back in Portland after our Senior Year Abroad. I love the cooler air, the gentler sun, and even the refreshing drizzle. I love that everybody speaks the same language. When we walk into a grocery store, we can identify everything in it. We have new phone numbers and we make calls like real people. If we haven’t called you yet, here’s why: Continue reading
Lord help me. I’m a guy. We talk about horsepower and RBIs; we don’t talk about feelings. How do I feel about leaving the expat lifestyle? How do I feel about moving back to Portland? How do I feel about having a home again?
Could I just have a list of feeling words and I’ll pick a few?
As I sit here I am surrounded by happy Mexican extended families and their kids and dogs. Los Tules is crowded because of the holidays. And though these are well-bred, peaceful folks by day, they don’t seem to have a fixed bedtime, and neither do their children. The party rages on, late into the night.
Mexicans, we have decided, love to party. It is one of their most endearing traits. And as an excuse to party, they have a wickedly long holiday season. We are only halfway through.