Wednesday, September 02, 2009

On my way to Africa

Exactly one year ago today we landed in Madrid, Spain, after having waved Mexico goodbye, possibly for good.

Actually I can't remember whether it was one year ago yesterday, today or tomorrow, but I'm going to say today for dramatic effect. And since I'm telling you I might be fibbing, the fib doesn't really count as a fib, right? Just more of a literary tool. Yes? 

Although... I bet the Hubs would know what day it was. Maybe I should call him. 

[telephone ringing]

Hubs: Yell-O

Me: When did we come here?

Hubs: Oh, Hi Pumpkin! Did you know that the Woolies that's opening at the new mall is like the farthest away from us?

Me: huh? (also because his Woolies sounds like 'wolies')

Hubs: Yup. First you have to turn off the road and then you have to turn left at the parking lot entrance and drive aaalllll the way to the other end of the mall to get to it. It's at the far corner.

Me: What?

Hubs: It figures, when that's the only store we're gonna be going to, it's at the far corner of the mall.

Me: Why you telling me this?

Hubs: Just making conversation. Thought you'd want to know.

Me: I called you.

Hubs: Oh. Yeah. But you're gonna have to drive further.

Me: Across a parking lot.

Hubs: Just making conversation.

Me: But I called you. I'm using up my fokken prepaid.

Hubs: Thought you'd want to know.

Me: Whatevs. Love you. Bring pizza.

[Click. Or bleep. Or whatever sound cellphone makes when you hang up]

Exactly one year ago today we landed in Madrid, Spain, after having waved Mexico goodbye, possibly for good.

When the plane landed and we were faced with the smallness of Europe in the fact that we had to take two taxis from the airport to the hotel on account of having two suitcases each, it began. We began pining for Mexico. An nowhere else was going to be good. Although the taxi drivers all spoke Spanish (seeing as we were in Spain) they lacked the flexibility we had first come to accept, then to understand, then to utilize and finally to appreciate in Mexico. None of the taxi drivers were willing to strap a suitcase on the front seat.

Not allowed by law my Mexico-missing patootie.

After our (non-simultaneous) arrival at the hotel, and following the sampling of some suspect tapas from the room service menu chased down with some minibar-peanuts priced at €2 a nut, I began to miss the Mexican food.

Why is it that I never have any pictures of the food that I actually ate? Just stuff that is notorious for giving you Montezuma's revenge.

After attempting to chat with the hotel staff, the staff at Starbucks (yes, Madrid has them. A great redeeming quality), and one very, very rude shop assistant, I began to miss the Mexican people.

Mah peeps. Aren't they cute. Don't you just want to grab that hat, and...

An exact replica.

Ah, the people and their bold accessorizing. Purple is the new black.

More fashion choices. These are those pants that make it look like you have a tattoo, I'm told. 

Once I ventured outside of the Starbucks I noticed the pervasive dust on the streets and buildings of Madrid (however, I must admit this might have been the result of a going away party followed by one mother of an airplane-bender) and I began to miss the colors, that shine through any and all layers of persistent pollution.

Ain't them colors purty?

I mean it.

But then I thought, "I'm moving to Africa (the country). This will be an amazing adventure, this here Africa deelio. It really will!" followed by "I'm so lucky to be experiencing Africa, not just as a traveler, but as a resident, as a working part of it, as a Mandela-stalking nut. This'll be fokken awesome!"

Little did I know that I would discover blogging, only talk about stalking Mandela and the occasional Oprah, and never leave the house again.

Guess what the paint on the inside walls of our house is called?

Mexican sand.

Try that on for irony.


Optimistic Pessimist said...

Am seriously blown away by your pictures.

M.J. said...

I am completely in love with Central America, it's landscapes, people, food, etc. That's why my five year plan (I sound like a real adult when I call it that) is to open an eco-lodge in either Belize, Honduras or Panama for awesome travelers who want to really experience a country and not do typical tourist crap. I would pick people up from the airport or where ever, cook for them and set them up with locals who knew the best beach, fishing, hiking, etc. spots. One day....sigh.

kristine said...

yeah. I empathise completely. nostalgia. always nostalgia.

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I'm still in awe of your well-traveledness (yes, that's a word in my book). And the Mexican sand thing? I think it's DESTINY. :)

You've only been in Africa a year? For some reason I thought it had been longer.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

That phone convo with Hubby sounds exactly like ours go everyday. Except switch the roles for us. I am always telling him "useful" information whilst he is tapping his toe wondering WTF?

CrazyCris said...

I left Mexico in 1995 and have only been back once for a couple of weeks a year later.

I still miss it! Probably always will, it's where I've lived happiest, felt the most comfortable and joyful.

But I know I can't really ever go back, things wouldn't be the same... family and friends who helped make the experience what it was are gone. And I keep hearing the city (and country) has gotten 100% more dangerous. But perhaps for a really long holiday? ;o)

Thanks for stirring some pleasant memories for me!

jane said...

can you hear me laughing? muchos besos!

Caley Brown said...

Love the pictures. I love Spanish/Mexican tradition and culture.

Middle Aged Woman Blogging said...

Amazing photos! You do get around! Travel forces us to understand the world we live in. You are gaining knowledge left and right!

Sarah said...

i am completely and absolutely jealous of your traveling. and your picture taking skills. happy anniversary of going to africa!

julochka said...

so did you buy any of those sunflower-covered fabric thingies in the last picture? cuz those are cool.

Judearoo said...

Ah! I NEED to get back there; delicious photos. And I did suffer Montezuma's revenge, but I think I got it lite. Only SLIGHTLY violently ill...

Happy days. :)

silknparachute said...

Lo the longing for past locations. How are we to know whether the grass is greener, unless we go over there and look. I am in my TENTH United State, and they seem disjointed to me, like 10 different countries. It sometimes looses it's green luster as we age, and we can always be sentimental about where we used to be, and dismal about where we are. But you can't go back, so look at the dirt where you are and think "my what lovely grass I have to look at today" But it ain't over till it's over, so keep looking. Who wants to leave the house anyway? Starbucks delivers.