I had almost 4 weeks to buy myself and others some souvenirs. But alas, I didn’t. I didn’t feel like a souvenir buying tourist. We had 4 weeks here, our son goes to school here, we basically live here. What would I be buying souvenirs for? That’s for tourists and we aren’t tourists, we are sort of kind of locals, ok, expats maybe but most definitely not tourists. Well, guess what, with three days left we are all of a sudden tourists and I need souvenirs.
Now I could kick myself for being so uninterested in all the pottery, carved pyramids and little conch earrings. But I really don’t know anybody who wants a carved stone pyramide anyway – with the exception of Max and he got one. Hammocks are a great gift if you live in Yucatan where every room comes equipped with several sturdy hooks that are mounted to the wall to hang them on. Not quite sure how one would hang one in a German living room, though. And I am equally uncertain whether either my mom or dad could get in and out without major damage to some vital organ or limb. That leaves traditional Yucatecan blouses and shirts – sure to turn everybody’s head in the streets of Silicon Valley or anywhere else outside Yucatan for that matter. Panama hats – but I honestly do not know a single person who still wears hat, the generation of gentlemen who used to wear elegant hats and take them off politely when greeting a woman seem to have gone the way of the Dodo bird.
Colorful pottery is always a crowd pleaser – not – because it a) looks so much better under the glaring sun of the tropics than at home in the cabinet next to the coffee mugs with company logos and b) is never quite as pretty when glued together after it broke in 1000 pieces – as Max would say – due to the delicate handling of the luggage by the airport employees.
I would really love to buy something from the little vendor girls that roam the streets of Merida. I feel for them, dressed in their heavy dark traditional clothing, hauling loads of stuff around but unfortunately they don’t offer anything, not a single thing that I or anybody I know or will ever know would actually want to own: belts woven from shiny bright and 100% unnatural fibers, little purses made from the same material and traditional blouses and shirts. It’s probably best I slip one particulalry tired looking one 10 pesos outright.
So the plan is that tomorrow, once Max is at school, I will go to town and start behaving like a real tourist. How is that for a resolution?
I Love Being an Expat
Talking tourists, I really think that I was born to be an expat. I love being an expat, I love meeting expats, they often make very interesting friends or at least conversations and I actually love my home – both in Sunnyvale and in Konstanz, which still is and always will remain the true “Heimat” for me – better from afar. I even married an expat (and dated a succession of expats before) – that’s proof enough. I don’t know why that is but there is something about starting over somewhere else, emersing oneself in a different place, different culture, make new friends, eat different food, adjust to different way of doing things which is appealing and challenging in a good way. There is a certain freedom for me in being a expat as not all of our eggs are in one basket. I decided to leave Germany essentially for two reasons, it bored the hell out of me and the weather is bad (seriously, only somebody suffering from seasonal depression as I do will appreciate this). If the Supreme Court throws out Roe vs.Wade tomorrow (my litmus test) we can pack up our suitcases and leave the US. I mean, there is some serious administrative stuff to take care off but there is no fundamental problem, no truly existential issue. Been there, done it. Why am I blabbering on about being an expat? Kind of on my mind a lot lately and also we snuck a peak into that really nice, partially removated house on Calle 57 that is for sale and I am sure will cost the equivalent of a posh dog house in California ….. Okay, that’s crazy talk, I know.
The last few days – still can’t believe it. We’ll take it easy. I’d like for Max to go to school the rest of the days, have a little Valentines party with the kids on Thursday and farewell cake on Friday (preschool in Merida is no exception, there is at least one fiesta every week – they train them early on). Oh, that reminds me that Max needs a Valentines Day gift for Michelle, age five, his little gift trading buddy girl at school. I should probably get Maestra Rosio who’s been so great to him a little something as well. It certainly looks like the last three days will be taken up entirely with gift shopping.
In India I’ll start earlier – definitely!