Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WTF home? Where you at?

Way back in April I ranted something about where my home was or wasn't. Or something to that effect. Any of you remember that?

Me neither. Not really. But there was a lot of bile, gall - neither of which I or my body have control over on account of that missing gall bladder and my liver being, well, the alcohol preserved piece of dead tissue that it probably is - some brimstone (I'm just throwing that in, because I like the word), and a little bit on books - my first love in this life.

I think my green bathrobe also might have made an appearance in that post. Like it used to do all the time. In fact, we haven't had one of those in a while. What's up with the silence of the green bathrobe? Dude.

(As a distracting aside, now I kind of want to write a book titled The Silence of the Green Bathrobe and Other Adventures about a gang of badass mice who live in the numerous pockets of that garb and rule the neighborhood. But we all know what happens when I hit that 10 000 to 25 000 word mark. Oh well.)

Once again, I'm thinking about the concept of home. Not only because I, again, over a lovely braai with some truly dear friends, had to explain that my home is not in Finland (that's just where my ma and pa built their flesh-colored house. Not kidding about the color, Mom just won't listen. Maybe me writing about it to complete strangers will make more of an impact come the time to repaint. Mom, it is flesh-colored. It is.), but right here in South Africa. For better and for worse, within these Mexican Sand-colored (oh, the irony) walls. I'm not so sure about the military-colored exterior with sickeningly Tuscan leanings though. It's too ugly to be anyone's home. It's why the word residence was invented.

Apparently, I have some issues with certain colors as well. And Tuscany. Who knew?

Well, I did, about Tuscany that is, and people who've never been to Tuscany trying to mimic its architecture and going horribly wrong and ending somewhere between Disney- and Graceland. But not the colors. That's a complete surprise. Wonder what Freud would have to say on that? I bet it would be something interesting and just a little off-putting. Especially when you think of the potential connections that can be drawn from growing up in something flesh-colored to anything that Freud seems to have been very fond of...

But I'm veering. Badly. And to wombs and birth-canals, and such matters of the mysterious underworld. Oh the horror.

Moving on. Clear your mind's palate. And stop thinking of the house that I did some of my growing up in in those terms. Thanks.

I'm also thinking of the concept of home, because in a couple of months we'll be getting guests galore, back to back, from three different countries all of which I've called home at some point in my life. And now, practically simultaneously, we have received questions from each set of guests regarding what we would like for them to bring with them. Something we have been missing.

From home.

Or, in the case of my brothers, the question is more implied in the email that never arrived. Because that's how we communicate. We don't. That's how we know we're related. It's an ancient cycle of Finnish love and affection.

My problem now is that I can't think of one thing that I would want from those nations, let alone need.

I have found that Woolworth's organic coffee is good enough to be buried with, should it turn out that I'm in fact Egyptian and get to take something with me to the big ever after ruled by guys with catheads who walk sideways and wear skirts, so I don't need my fix of Finnish coffee. Woolies will do in cathead universe. Good wine has never and will never come out of Finland or Denmark. Awesomely bad tomato wine has emerged from Finland, but one whiff of that is enough, and I still have half a bottle left back in our little summer cottage in Tampere. France has some amazing, amazing wines, but so does SA and for half the price. So, surprisingly, no java nor bottles needed from anywhere.

I know. I'm just as aghast as you must be. And flabbergasted. And flummoxed. And a little bit gobsmacked. But not overly so. I draw the line at too much gobsmack.

What I do want need are two Brad Paisley CDs from America that Africa seems to have deposited in its black hole and the Danish iTunes disregards in the most terrible of manners, some Lubriderm lotion from Mexico because it would only be fitting that a Mexican lotion would be the most suited for the palest of the McPales, a specific brand of olive oil from Greece because we're snobby like that, some Fudge hair care from England to maintain the spikes spiky, and some freshly brewed STARBUCKS from anywhere. Just anywhere. Anywhere will do.


The fact of the matter is that quietly over the years, without anyone, least of all me noticing, I seem to have become what I claim to be on my profile, right here on Blogger.

A child of a global world.

And the meaning of home has become something much broader than what it meant when I was first brought home from the hospital by my nervous parents (can you tell I'm the first?), during one of the coldest winter days in that century.

Now, I belong nowhere and anywhere.

What an odd sensation.

In my book this guy would be an undercover police officer trying to infiltrate the mice mafia. he wouldn't have too much luck, but he would always play an entertaining tune. 

What do you think of all this? Does it even make sense? Is the only relatable part the mention of my mother not listening to me when I said they should paint their house yellow and coming up with some excuse about not wanting to paint what was dark brown white? Or Starbucks?

It's been quiet here in the Extranjera command center. And although I can't encourage for the lurkers to identify themselves, since I never do that myself, I will say again that I do love your comments. All of them. And giggle in tune with Brad Paisley when I read them over and over again. So do leave them. Even if you don't normally...


omchelsea said...

I'm so sad! Doesn't Australia have ANYTHING you could possibly want?
And I think we're all global children; just less self-aware. But the internet has brought the other side of he world much closer; google earth has done WONDERFUL things for my overseas reminiscences and means that my students and I can feel ourselves to be part of a global community (we're Suzuki people) even if we don't have the time or the resources to actually travel to Japan/America/Europe/Finland (which is where Suzuki voice originated with Dr. Pavvi Kukkamachi - hope I spelt that right!)... and so on.

iasa said...

I'm picturing your childhood house as a sort of fleshy, wobbly, wiggly Scandinavian bounce house. Anyways, that whole 'home' concept can be tricky, especially if you try to limit yourself to one. I think of home as more of an all you can eat buffet.

Fidgeting Gidget said...

So I totally just tried to giggle to the tune of "Alcohol" under my breath. AH HA...AH HA HA HA HA! I can make anybody pretty, I can make you believe any lie.....

If my freaking CD burner worked, I would burn you some BP CDs and send them your way. I tried to do the same for OP but my burner is broken. :(

Sarah said...

i can completely relate to the whole 'where's home' thing... but on a much smaller level. i'm half saudi and half american and belong in neither and both places at once. :/

Miss Footloose said...

Nothing unusual here, I suppose. Feeling hopelessly rootless, feeling "at home" in many places, but don't feel I "belong," any place. Just a piece of fluff floating around and getting stuck here and there. Now there's an image for you. Maybe I'll be one of those dandelion thingies. Only I won't procreate like they do all over everybody's lawn. Finished with that. Three kids three continents was my limit.

And from the Netherlands I want "advokaat" an egg liqueur that is like highly alcoholic pudding. Man, that's dessert, with whipped cream of course.

Miss Footloose, stuck right now, and not belonging, hoping to be floating again soon.

Tales of the Globetrotting Life

Cyndy said...

Wait until you visit Cowtownburgsville in PA. Then you will be really confused and never want to leave! : )

As to BP CDs, please consider it done. I just have to make evaluation copies for me, VEG and OP first as we embark upon our journey to become CW fans. We are, at the very least, looking forward to the boots!

So, e-mail me the titles (don't make me go looking in older posts) and your address. Perhaps a bag of that SB stuff could make it into the box, as well, so long as you think the custom guys would not want it more...

Happy days!

An Open Heart said...

Looks like the BP music got covered.....I have several....if Cyndy doesn't have one you want...I'll burn mine for you!


CrazyCris said...

It might be just a "phrase", but I think "Home is where your heart is" is sooo right!

And if your heart changes locations every so often... then so does your home! :o)

Lisa-Marie said...

Home is wherever you feel most like yourself I think. I'm glad you feel at home In the land in which you live!

caroldiane said...

I love that you bring all of who you are to whatever piece of the world you are in - no wonder you have friends arriving from all over the globe! I consider myself privileged that I get to be part of your life and get to laugh with you when I read your blog and giggle inappropriately later in the day when I think of something you wrote (silent green bathrobe... see, it works!!!)

Ph.D. Mommy said...

4.410.000.000 hits on home according to (my) Google

Ellie said...

We're all a little hung up on this notion of home, huh?

Tina said...

Hi, I was afloat in the world once and now feel like I'm harboured safely at home. My travel makes for good stories but I'm glad to be back. I'm Irish though and the Irish are melancholy for home when they're away. Are you having trouble finishing a novel? I have had that trouble for years and finally broke the block this summer. Not sure how, maybe upcoming notable birthday!

Kaotic said...

And while the rest of the world pen sensible answers to the crux of this post, I just wanted to say that I loved the title of the distracting aside..."The Silence of the Green Bathrobe and Other Adventures"...I'd read that...like anytime...but I need an end!:-)

It brought back memories of the time a friend asked me to tell her a story....I was sleepy, saw an open window, and so began "The Mystery of the Hanging Windows"....s story with a beginning, middle, and nooooo end...I fell asleep...and the next morning, my brain just wasn't in the mood!

Zara from Paris said...

Yup, home and home country... tricky. Can you have your home in a country that's not your home country? Meaning in the worst / best case you have home trips both ways when travelling. If you have a home and a home country that is.

And about "no bottles needed", thanks for the tip, remains to be seen if taken into consideration.