Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie of Paradise

I came home from work yesterday, to find Ollie with a look of instability. I ask her what is wrong and she tells me she is in a place of instability. She is extremely preoccupied about returning to the States. She said that in the US, you can give and give the love and sympathy that welcomes everyone into your world but it will never be returned. But Madrid, for her, loves you back. There are no friends lists to be too full, no snobby hierarchal attitudes, just a sincere sense of passion. It got a little heavy, so we stepped out onto my Juliette balcony that looks over our street and recounted our times like the ending montage of Set It Off where Jada Pinkett Smith is the only left after the big bank heist. That time when I....when you fell...when we ate...how about when...or if we would have...and the stories flowed.

I warned her that she would get a reverse culture shock. That is when you step off the plane and cry at how robotic and fundamental the States can appear. A place where we confuse a "hodge podge" of culture with a "watered down mess". I then said it is very easy to slip back into that life, for it is what we know best. The best thing to do to cope with it and to make sure that this summer experience was not completely in vain, is to take small mannerisms or habits that have developed abroad back to the States.

Coming back from Argentina last summer, I felt the same thing. So incorporated the word "obvio" into my daily vernacular. I bought a bottle of Argentinian liquer to remember the taste. I wear my crotch-drop pants to remember my renegade style. Little things.

Still thinking what to pick to bring back from Madrid. Ideas?

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