Underthecurrent


Nord-Americano
January 18, 2016, 12:27 am
Filed under: Canada, runaway, voyageur | Tags: ,

Mexico.  Going to Mexico.  To sit on a beach, eat tacos, drink beer and horchata, be reminded of a lack of Spanish fluency.  Because it’s reasonably priced in a year of currency chaos and one direct flight.  Because the ocean is clear and moving.  Because it’s been nearly twenty years?

For the first time as an adult, staying at a resort.  Not just a resort, an all-inclusive resort.  Please hand your rough travel credentials in at the door, bourgie life.

It’s pragmatism.  The hypothetical of having everything set up to run smoothly, of not calculating exchange rates and whether more cash needs to be converted, of in-room conveniences like beach towels.  It’s not having to decide at the airport to spend cash on a cab versus spend a hour on local transport with a significant language barrier praying you’re not actually off to an inaccessible part of the city where it may be dark and you may be robbed.  It’s the option of pre-travel research without the sense that if you fail to put the research in you may well not know about the entry visa/ridiculous airport ATMs that charge high fees and only let you withdraw $30/ferry that only runs on Tuesday at 3pm from the town with no accomodation.

Three years four months in one place has made the world feel smaller.  Quiet comparisons to how things are done elsewhere have faded.  An index of places to go and return to has more question marks than clarity, the world is not static.  A former sense of being able to critically evaluate information diseminated by the media is dulled, too few points of reference.

As though nothing else is out there.

In three years, four months, a complete summary.  A long weekend taking all forms of transit through the PNW until Portland.  About seventeen days on Oahu, mostly North Shore, split over two trips.  A day trip to Washington state, a wedding in Ohio and a flyby few days in Vegas.  No passport stamps, no new continents.  All Anglo. Not enough time, less than ten days per year, which is not even 3%.

Maybe this creates opportunities in the future, deferring the short and inevitably expensive long haul trips in favor of the better part of a year.  Maybe the world shifts and it doesn’t work out, or there’s another dream to chase.  I guess we’ll see.



Where Are Ü Now
January 14, 2016, 3:44 am
Filed under: insight

Add to the list of titles that will feel dated and strange in five years.

Sometimes it’s down the search engine hole on a night where there should be work/chores/fitness/good behavior.

What about that one?  The one that got completely deleted, the point in life where it became okay to not maintain the vestiges of half friendship, when it was clear this time there was nothing more to say?  Did they make it where they were planning to be?

Nope!  It turns out they’re living the same city as you, the whole time.  One more thing to ruminate over when considering how under-dressed is too under-dressed to get groceries.

*

He’s sitting the hallway like it’s ten years ago.  Of all the hallways, in all the cities.

There’s still nothing awkward.  Why has there never been anything awkward?  There probably should be, in that montage of young and dumb, it was more sitcom than drama.  He says your name slowly like it’s still a decade ago and you blush a little bit.

Part wants to say:  you’re a good memory, one of the best.

You won’t know until later which ones can leave the perfect moments unspoiled.  It won’t be many because people are human and vulnerable and, sometimes, mean.  That bitterness at the end will splash over those long rosy days and the memories will always be different.  Sometimes this just comes from trying to make something good last too long, to make it meet the wrong needs.

But every once in awhile there will be one that was just goodness.  Nothing that would have gone the distance, but uncomplicated happiness.  Human connection.

Part wants to say: I hope you feel the same.

*

The airport is really small and what’s appropriate is the casual “oh, hey!” that both is and is not spontaneous.  The warm smile is prepped, eyes wash across and… they don’t meet.  They have averted their eyes.  Panic.  No one looks at each other.  Friends with one on facebook.

Remembering why moving to a new city at the end of being a teenager was a good plan.  A very good, eye-contact-inducing plan.