Sunday, April 19, 2015

There and Back and Coming Goodbyes

As an Army brat, there was always the next move to look forward to, at least every few years or so. That kind of life shapes a kid. A few months ahead of the big move, we'd all be thinking about the next step -- and starting to push away the old. It was kind of a protective measure, i think, to shield us from the fact that the good friends we'd made in this home might never be seen again.
Pining for the truck to drive once again...

Little did we know we'd have Facebook and Instagram and all that stuff to keep us connected, even to childhood friends. For the most part, all the people who were my "crew" from 3rd to 6th grade at Karlsruhe American Elementary School in Germany are now my friends on social media -- so i get to catch up with them from time to time.

I wonder if the current state of social media shapes my kid's outlook on coming and going, arriving and departing... since kids stay in touch via video chat and even bully each other in cyberspace these days.

Me, two months from departure, i can feel that old familiar feeling of cutting the strings, one by one. I won't say i'm "over" this place, because i'm not. In the middle of December, i will know that the winds are blowing sweet across Lago Cocibolca. I'll long for it with every wintry blast of cold air i experience back home. That is, if i decide to stay home in the end. 

Still, some of the cultural things eat away at you and make you want to get away, away, away like yesterday. Especially when you find yourself once again riding chicken buses to get around, after having a car of your own (a rental) for two weeks.

You remember that people here won't queue behind you when waiting for the bus; if there's any room at all between you and the person in front of you, they'll take that as a sign you're not that keen on getting on. They don't mind careening around roundabouts, drivers screaming on the horn, or the hawkers that stuff spaces with too many people. They don't mind yelling or loud music or buses that spew black smoke from a hole in the exhaust, just below where little pigtailed cherubs lean out the windows for some cool air. They don't balk when those cherubs toss out the plastic bags that once held sugary drinks, the bags rolling over in the hot wind as the bus pulls away. Or at least no one acts like they mind.

They like polyester -- even in the high-brow department store at the mall, it's hard to get around that non-breathable, uncomfortable fabric choice. That makes it tough to buy any clothes at all for a kid who seems to grow an inch a minute.

They'll eat fried chicken at any opportunity, even when a dozen other similarly-fast and similarly-good restaurants are available, as is the case at the mall. They smile; nothing seems to bother them. In the heat and the smoke and the dust, everything bothers you. So you want out. OUT.

Because i've done this time and again throughout my whole life, i know that this need to get out fast will be flipped on its end in a few months' time, and me and the rebelangel will both be pining for our Nicaragua Linda.

Just not now.

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Growing up in Europe, this was one piece of European culture that i wish was more prevalent in my home: the bidet in the bathroom. They're just a better way to stay clean, period. Fortunately for my friends in North America, you can order one online and outfit your current bathroom with one for a very low cost! Plus, Bidet Inc plants ten trees for every one sold!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let's plan on renting a car when we are there, wink, wink!!!

Sofi society said...

N,
Will the last cool person in Granada please make sure the lights are turned off?

Nico said...

I'm hopefully not leaving forever and hopefully not my friends either!