Living abroad

An annonimous and personal story

This is the last picture I have with two of my friends before leaving my country in september 2015. We all promised to just keep writing, wherever we were.

We left our country for different reasons. We left our home, our family, our friends and lovers behind. We decided to start over, without any advantages, contacts, or support. We only had our baggages full of rags that were inadecuate for winter, a lot of illusions and a pocket full of money, gathered during a process of indecision. And just in case, had learned every swear word in every language possible, at least to know if we were being called anything.

We are a lot of people.

Many of us wanted to give up more than once, anytime an asshole made us feel less, take a flight back home anytime a flu had us in bed with no one to take care for us. We had to sing “happy birthday to me”, dine alone in Christmas and work over the New Year to take our heads out of it. Most of us missed important moments of our loved ones, not just the day to day, but those memorable moments. We’re the eternal absents in weddings, births, graduations and funerals. We have become facebook, twitter, whatsapp, skype avatars for those back home.

We sure made new friends, formed families or were adopted by others. We are now used to cold and heat. We now live in a brave new world where people don’t form a line to use public transportation and walk without fear of being robbed in a lonely street. We learned to go to public hospitals, not leave our lights on, take care of ourselves and be happy with loneliness.

Yes, we laugh alone when we think about funny jokes in our language, we complaint that Homer Simpson doesn’t sound right on the TV and radio shows are boring as hell… because they only talk. Good thing is, even when you sometimes endure a crowded bus, you’ll never feel like you’re gonna crash and die.

We now know how to ask the butcher which cut of meat we need for a Lomo Saltado a Puchero or a Feijoada. We’ve all felt like crying when a street musician played a cumbia, a tango or a sambita. And we saved like working ants to go on vacation to our land.

We’re not millionaires because we earn dollars, euros or pounds, we’re not foreigners because we might have a second nationality, we’re not just “sudacas” or “latinos”. We’re a bunch of people, from all origins who made a choice, and put a lot of effort to do so. We now see our countries from a different point of view, a distant one.

We might be nostalgic, we’re constantly homesick and miss our hometowns, at least all those things that once made sense there: lovers, friends an special people. We now have friends from all over the world, have where to crash in different cities and are the ones to invite friends to our homes too. We’re the ones that sometimes have sleepless nights thinking of home but tell our mothers that “we’re okay”, enerytime they ask.

We’re the ones that make our friends laugh every time we tell them “you have to visit the best place in the world: my country, but please, don’t go alone”…

(This was written by an annonimous writer, translation is mine)

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