Saturday, January 5, 2013

Without a Suitcase

There can't be anything more dull, yet comfortable than living at home. The past three days have been so comfortable that my mom had to beg to get me out of the house just to go to Home Depot and the grocery store.

Do you know how strange it is to understand every word of everything said around you? Going to England used to be something special for this reason. After all the grief of traveling through contries where language is always a barrior (and all your conversations start with a pre-emptive "Do you speak English" in respective language), I was thoroughly annoyed. Listening to English was relaxing in England, it was still a memorable experience.There were so many American accents I heard in Home Depot, so many minute cultural connotations I had forgot about.

But this must be apart of the reintegration process.

Cardena's, the Mexico-inspired supersized grocery store, filled me with joy. I walked through automated doors to mounds of yucca, platano, bottles of rompope (eggnog) with the Virgin Mary on the front, and a type of round bread awfully similary to Bolo da Rei from Portugal. The trumpets and polka-like percussion coming from the overhead made me giggle as my mom and I searched for anona. (No anonas, but we settled on a yucca, which I don't think is a bad substitute at all).The only language I heard was Spanish, it was quite refreshing.

I was heartedly enjoying my stroll through this culture-capsule when I had to come into contact with a cashier. As I approached her behind the counter, I had barely opened my mouth when she cut me off with, "no, closed", in a heavy accent.

Five years of Spanish classes, heard it in the home, semester in Spain, shaken confidence. I was just stereotyped as a gringa.

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