Saturday, December 29, 2007


It’s such a mental transition for me, coming home after a trip to Costa Rica. I get so comfortable there, settle back into the language, the comfort food, the music, the places I knew growing up. I can slip into speaking Spanish the way I grew up speaking it, rough and slangy, instead of using the more polished, neutral version I’ve learned to use as an interpreter.

There is last-minute shopping so I can stock up on tons of coffee, rum and Salsa Lizano. Packing is always an ordeal. Then there are the tearful goodbyes, which make me sad because I never know when I’m going back. It just feels so far away, even though my trip to LA was longer than my trip to Costa Rica. Maybe everyone feels this way about where they grew up, maybe it’s not just me. Maybe I just feel like the cultural and emotional factors make it different. I don’t know. I can’t quite explain it, but it gets me at a gut level

I get to the airport, check in, and feel myself starting to break away. I’m on the plane watching the in-flight movie, and part of me is still not quite there. Then I invariably land in Miami. Maybe that’s one reason I hate that airport so much—to me, it’s that no-man’s-land, always halfway between one of my homes and the other.

And then we staggered home at 1:00 a.m., and the transition was complete, though a little bumpy. Primo has been waking up at 4:00 for the past week and has been inconsolable and then just wakeful. And yesterday I had such an awful allergic reaction to something that I dragged myself to Urgent Care, mostly because my eye was just about swollen shut and I had a translation due at five. Now I’m happily doped up on steroids.

Today is much better. Primo slept until 7:00. I feel much better. I have a large cup of coffee in front of me. I’m ready to rejoin the world, I think.

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