Lately, since I've been leaving the house almost every single day - albeit mainly to buy shoes (Thank you Zeus for Stave Madden), but also to work on all sorts of exciting projects with just a pinch of introducing some honest American English to unsuspecting souls in a (Whoa!) classroom situation (it gets better...) with moi actually in charge (when you say it all together like that the result is quite scary and unpalatable, I know) - I've again been subjected to one of the things I don't particularly miss from my life in Mexico City (Yes I do! I miss it all!), but that very likely accounted for quite a few months out of the couple year span.
Yup. Traffic. Trafico.
I have such fond memories of inching down Reforma, one of the main arteries of Mexico City, for hours on end in my burgundy shoebox of a Chevy with zero air conditioning. Wearing exhaust fumes like a fine perfume. Buying all of my cleaning products at intersections. Chatting to beggars in broken español. Singing along to the songs on that weird Mariachi radio station without actually knowing the words (cept for Cielito Lindo. Everyone knows Cielito Lindo. Besides it's just a whole lot of ay ay ay ay and then some more ay ay ay). Watching my suction cup Jesus gently sway in the furiously circulating lukewarm air. And believe it or not, sometimes playing sudoku. Honest.
And here I am again, stuck in traffic.
Granted, regardless of still conforming to the universally accepted definition of traffic (as opposed to the Finnish definition which can be loosely understood as: "Shit. There's someone else on the road at the same time as me! Holy Cow! I must watch out now."), the traffic here in Jozi is nowhere near the kind of sea of ebbing and flowing waves of chaos associated with Mexico City. Still, it's something you sit in for longer than you had initially intended or hoped. Until you run out of boogers to fish out of your nose, and that weird, red something between your teeth that looks like tomato peel although you can't remember when you last had anything with tomato in it just does not enthrall you like it did a minute ago.
But traffic's different here. Simply not slow enough to play sudoku, put on makeup, tweeze my eyebrows (I don't really, just putting it out there as a potential), work out what the hell that black stuff underneath my nail is and why can't I wash it off, come up with seven different ways of wearing my faux-hawk with the help of multiple mirrors available in my car, or make up stories of people who have those stupid 'baby on board' suction-cup thingies on the rear window in which (the stories that is) they always have dark family secrets or possibly an extra toe/finger/other magnificent appendage (never claimed to have a normal imagination).
Too fast for anything but radio.
Thus, I'm actually finally coming to my point.
Yes, there fokken was one all along. There really was! (Well, okay. Maybe not a point, but more of a theme. A unifying factor. Yes.)
And my point is a series of questions to you people:
How loud is it acceptable to sing along to 50 Cent's Baby By Me? Does 'doing that weird vogue movement' with your head make any difference? Is Baby By Me the new Baby Got Back? How frikken awesome is P!nk? Why don't more people sing loudly in their cars? What is it called when you kind of dance along behind the steering wheel? What do you do to kill time in traffic?
I know. I do. I blame the mother-in-law. Maybe you should too.
A child of a global world, originally from the land of Santa and cell phones, married to a bona fide viking, and attempting to raise a loud little life who has Down syndrome, all the while getting used to the US Pacific Northwest after many years in Latin America and Africa. Against all odds the kid's first words turned out to be 'mom' and 'book' instead of 'fuck' and 'no'. That may well turn out to have been my finest parenting moment ever.