Friday, 04.08.2016 - 7:12 pm.
We're back home! I'm exhausted and jet lagged. The trip felt like a year-long and yet right now it feels like it was just a quick dream. I'd better break it down in bits and pieces, and I'll try to keep it short.
Friends and family
Andrew and I travelled for nearly 30 hours. We left home Thursday afternoon: train, hotel, plane, plane, plane, and a taxi to get to a hotel near the airport of my home country on Friday night. We didn't encounter any trouble as we travelled. On Saturday morning, I got to hug my parents and my siblings, all four of them, after a long, long time. We spent the day together.
The first days were filled with anger and sadness, however, as we learned that my mom had published a book about the family. The story was told in the letters we've sent each other, something very intimate and private. My siblings opposed to her writing that book years ago, but she went on behind their backs. This was a violation of privacy, at the very least. My siblings, along with the SO (two SIL and Andrew), met on our time, and we agreed it was very uncharacteristic of my mother to not listen to her children. There was a lot of analyzing our parents, which was amusing, in a good way.
Long story short, the siblings presented a united front and requested her to not distribute the book. And she agreed she won't. There was no ill intention on her part (she is, as you can tell, very proud of the family she's built), and on our part we appreciated the work she's done putting all that family history together, but some things are meant to be private. It feels wrong to be reading other people's mail, even if that is a letter from one of my brothers to my parents. See, it was not addressed to me to begin with. Anyway, lots of arguments going back and forth, in a calm but firm conversation over coffee, and luckily things were solved in the best possible way.
After that, I had two weeks of great times with my family. My parents are a bit older, my mom in particular is shrinking. They cried hard when we left for the airport last Tuesday; I wish they didn't suffer over me, I'm doing ok. You take care of yourselves, mom and dad. Brother and SIL #3 need to get out of the country, and so does my sister. They're too good for that hot, sad place but they soldier on.
I got to see many friends. I'm happy to inform that I was able to see everyone I'd planned to see and then a few more. I will mention CR and Lighthouse later, as they are always something on their own.
The city and me
I've been trying to come up with a background for a story I have in mind, and the context is a decaying city. My ideas came to life when I rode into town. That city is falling to pieces. There's the constant heatwave and the traffic and the risk of getting mugged and killed and the horrible "good citizens".
On the bright side, I felt like myself, like I hadn't felt in ages. This is, after all, the place where I was born and where I became who I am. Because of the place, and also spite of it. I was torn between the few precious things it holds and the landslide of hell it is. I uploaded a few pictures I took, but they have to be out of context to be appreciated. It takes a lot of sweat and patience, even denial, to snap a nice view or a delicious cup of coffee.
This did not feel like a vacation. I was stressed most of the time. There is traffic at all times in all directions. I have to see someone first and then someone afterwards. At what time will I see my parents today? Poor Andrew is getting bored and he's melting.
Poor Andrew is getting bored and he's melting
I was constantly putting myself in Andrew's shoes: imagine he'd drag you across the ocean to hang out with *his* friends and *his* family, in an infernal weather with such thing as too much food. It's not nice, so he could be as moody as he wanted and I'd have understood. He was a sweetheart about it though, and enjoyed himself as much as he could. Of course, he always had the option to stay at the hotel with the AC on, and many times he took up on the offer.
There were mornings, afternoons and evenings in which I wouldn't schedule anything. I would have loved for us to go on a proper date but Jesus Christ, the traffic and the crazy drivers and everywhere you go is packed. Luckily, he'd also pass on that idea, adding that, Jesus Christ, the heat. We'd still have time to ourselves though, and some days he'd lay for hours by the hotel pool, soaking up some sun. Ok, so it did feel like a vacation sometimes. And It was really nice.
I'll stop here. I'm so tired! I'm missing something that I shall address soon. I spent the whole time of my trip with a burning urge to talk about it and I couldn't. To talk about Joseph, I mean. Or rather, as I was reminded by CR without warning, about Mr and Mrs Smith.