Monday, November 05, 2012

Coca-Cola en América del Sur

we had a bar-b-que party at our house last night, or 'parrilla' as it is called here, and we were surrounded by some of the most linguistically diverse people i have ever met.  the accepted langauge at our house is spanish so that all can be on the same page however last night was painted also with bright colors of german, english and turkish as well as a wine-induced rant i made in what little samoan i still remember.  last night i felt the same sensation that has fueled me to travel for so many years while we sat together at one table as people from many corners of the earth.

it is a blessing for me to live like this and it is truly a feeling i will always continue to pursue.  i've sat at many tables and explained myself in many languages why i dont eat meat.  i've tasted the differences in soft drinks as well as alcohols from many countries and i've shared laughter with people who couldn't speak ten words of my native language.  it is wonderful how things come together at a long table covered in plates of grilled chicken and glasses full of cheap beer.

i want to get better at the languages i already know.  i'm comfortable with my spanish although definitely no higher than the status of an intermediate.  every day i practice by reading a dozen wikipedia articles on the subject of argentina's history or the various indigenous people who have roamed central and south america.  i muse myself with thoughts of one day leaving this place to wander through uruguay, bolivia, peru and ecuador to write my own version of history.  it tickles me to think of how it would feel to look at the skeletal remains of machu picchu and have its story told to me in my third language.  i tasted a bit of this sensation before when i was in eastern turkey bribing young children with 5 lira to take me through the ruins of ancient castles and graveyards.  if you wish to learn a new language i urge you to do it for this reason, the sensation is incredible.

the house i live in bears a strong resemblence to a time long ago when community was the means of happiness and health.  here it is almost offensive to cook only for yourself whereas there are many hungry mouths to feed.  i like it.  it reminds me of my time living with my japanese friends in samoa or living with my detroit friends in woodbridge.  there is a feeling of family for those who are very far away from their true families.  we provide food an laughter, two things that a human being cannot live without.

i'm taking my time now to explore this city.  i've slowly felt my energy spread out in a sort of ripple on top of a large pond.  it started the day i unpacked my bag and slapped the travel stains from nepal off the legs of my hippy pants.  i'm in a new home now and it does actually feel a bit like home to me.  with every language i learn and every new place i get to call home i feel myself becoming bigger and my eyes wider.  i miss istanbul and of course i miss detroit and my friends and family who have remained so awesomely faithful to me over the many years but i'm in a new place now.  i have some stories to write and many lessons to be learned.  when i come back i'll share my stories and break bread at the table i sat at long ago, and make merry amongst the people who know me and love me most.

Mazum, el chef Turco

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