I’m not on the move anymore – my home is here in Bogota. I don’t know if I can convey how weird that is. In point of fact, I’m not sure I’m entirely in favor! How do people do this, all over the world, all the time, but for me I feel like a fish out of water? Now I have to:
1. Make and nurture friendships (not just the occasional e-mail from another continent. Also, bell boys and coffee shop waitresses no longer count.)
2. Use the opportunity to save money (instead of just pretending I’m “putting aside” my per diem, which I never did.)
3. Walk to work (no more haggling with taxi drivers, or not knowing where I am going)
4. Water my plants (this was very easy to avoid – I just got rid of them all)
5. Keep food in the fridge, you know, to eat. Maybe even cook.
6. Sign up for my own internet service (Tony, where are you when I need you?!?!)
7. Learn my way around, since I’m going to be here awhile
8. Soak myself in some local culture (and not as a day-tripper – as someone who needs to understand and appreciate it)
9. Figure out how to get where the good bike rides are, and the good running trails – no more gyms!
10. Stop thinking of these things as difficult, instead of as a joy
I keep saying it, so for those who’ve heard it, I’m sorry for the repetition – but I didn’t know that making this dream come true would have a cost. I didn’t know, or I didn’t let myself think about that. And it ain’t cheap. Right now I can’t say if I’m happy I did it – which is nuts. I have been yammering about getting an overseas post for years.
And Colombia – there is NOTHING wrong with this place. Sure, there are, you know, things. Lines to get a visa, internet outages, stupid people at banks, I’m not sure they clean the manicure implements as much as is warranted, whatever. But of all the places in the world to get posted, this one is glorious – a real top-of-the-list place. In theory AND in practice.
And I love the work. So, Keri, you may be asking, what the flock is wrong with you? Why are you whining?
Maybe I’m just a little homesick. With a case of Ramonitis on top of that.