on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Toads in my bedroom

In Mozambique on April 13, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Living abroad, particularly in a developing country can be such a roller-coaster. Everything is done in the moment. Right now, at this moment, all is well.

I love having time for the quiet moments

Yesterday, walking through the streets of Inhambane, watching the sun slowly set as it cast an ethereal golden glow over the city, I realized that Inhambane is my city. It is what New York was to me, it’s my home. Yes, I live in the bush an hour away by foot, but I identify with Inhambane City. Walking to Akisha’s house with Tracy, we passed by shops that I know so well, shop owners that we know waved and called out to us, I have memories here. I am comfortable and familiar with the environment. I know that when I walk in front of the Frelimo building there is a dip where one of the bricks in the ground is missing and that I need to step around or leap over it to avoid tripping (as i’ve done in the past).

When I enter the Mercado Central, I know exactly where to go to get what I want and I know how to haggle and bargain until I get the local price. I know shop women and vendors. What was once foreign is familiar. I have a group of friends in the city which has made a world of a difference. Whether we are meeting for brownies and a movie or are gathering to practice yoga, I feel very much at home and at peace in Inhambane.

Life happens, no matter where you are. No matter where you go, there are friends to be made, relationships to be had, experiences to grow from. When I left for Mozambique, in a strange way I thought I’d be putting my life on hold for a year to have this “experience”. I suppose professionally I’m putting my life on hold for a year, but that’s as far as it goes. Everything else is blossoming lotus style.

My Portuguese is getting worse, that’s not blossoming. I don’t understand how this has happened. Yes I do. Everyone speaks to me in English. It’s so annoying and now, I’ve gotten used to speaking in English. One of my Mozambican friends Gilson is supposed to be teaching me Portuguese, I think I need to hurry up and arrange for our first session, pronto.

There was a toad in my bedroom last night, a cute little guy with a deep baritone, I let him stay.


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