Would it be weird if I said I’ve only just realised I live in Mexico? I mean like really LIVE here?? I’ve got my job, my work permit, my bank account, my medical insurance, a wee house that I come home to with a squashy sofa and pictures on the wall. I’ve got a routine which involves Spanish lessons and trips away and future plans. Would it be at all weird to say that it’s only just sunk in, that here is where I am?
Yeah, I guess it would be but that’s kinda what’s happened. It didn’t just hit like a bolt of lightening, more just like a slow realisation. I haven’t suddenly become amazing at the Spanish language or started making tacos for dinner but life here has become normal now. I have accepted the weirdness of things here. I have accepted fireworks at 5am, and turkeys that never stop huckaling. I’ve accepted taxi drivers who know where I live and yet at the same time pretend they don’t know what I mean when I say I want dropped off at the Bodega (supermarket.) I know now what bank machines will charge a fee for withdrawals. I know how to post things home and how long they’ll take to get there. I’ve just about figured out getting a bus to another town.
I appreciate the small things here too, like the woman in the laundrette who kept one of my tickets and stuck it on her till so that every time I come in she can spell my name correctly. She practices her English with me, I practice my Spanish with her. I enjoyed meeting the parents for the second parent teacher meeting and to have such warm welcomes from them. One parent said, “I love coming to talk to you. You always have the biggest smile for us”. I appreciate feeling part of this community.
I am sure of all these small things and yet still unsure of so much. But it feels like a life here. Not a complete one obviously but one none the less.
Maybe this realisation has happened because my friend from home is coming to visit and I’ll get to play tourist guide. I’ll get to share in a tiny portion of my life with someone who knows me so well from my ‘before’ life. Maybe that’s where it’s come from. Or maybe this is just the length of time it takes me to settle into a place. This is the calm before the storm of me getting itchy feet and wanting to move again. This is the part where the adventure is manageable. It’s not hugely overwhelming but has just the right balance of fear and success.
Start The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson