Bueno. Sorry for yet another late addition of “Real Talk Sunday” – I may as well start calling it “Real Talk Monday” but then I would have to push it to Tuesdays 😉 – I am not exactly known for being punctual. But, I was in Montevideo, Uruguay ayer (yesterday) and had no way of getting a post up – more on that later.
OK, on with it, I am happy to announce that this “Real Talk” session is brought to you by one of my Favorite people that I’ve met here in Buenos – that’s right folks we have another GUEST BLOG POST! Gracias Yael – I LOVE THIS.
It’s a little intimidating to use someone else’s space for expression, be it virtual or physical. When Sonja asked me to guest blog I started to wonder what was the appropriate content for such a space. A cutesy memoir of one of our many nights with our new foreign family, wine stained teeth and Frank Ocean sing a longs? Or an ode to the American experience in a city of catcalls and slow customer service? Nah…
Trying to dig deeper into the experience of sharing this life abroad with my fellow “Yankis/Gringos”, I find I can expand for hours about cultural boundaries and gaps we find as we extranjeros wind our way through the cities physical and social structures. But within our house of 10 international guests we have daily moments of cultural clashing, where in half a sentence so much gets lost in translation. As a bilingual Spanish and English speaker and bicultural Uruguayan/American I get to witness many of these moments of confusion from an exterior viewpoint and pull from them hints to the larger questions that float above me this trip: What is there to gain from travel? How do I carry what I gain with me?
Yes, we travel for the big – the monuments, the natural wonders, the crazy 6 AM nights but we change with the small discoveries. The exchange of words with those who pose a challenge to the way we once saw things.
In living in this house, in this experience, I have taken with me an appreciation for the weight of each word. Whether its clothed in another language, sarcasm or a cultural humor we might just not understand, the words come to us in heavy kilos. When stripped to their naked state we find the poetry, when we find that what they really tell us is that we are all starting with the same base. Shared along with the endless coffee and cigarettes is the feeling of a long road ahead, defined by the people we meet and the words we exchange with them.
And in the end when our words our picked, and weighed, and hang in the air between us…it is not necessary to reiterate how different we all are at times, but rather how similar; beautifully lost.
Zooming into what I chose to share in this space, I chose poetry (my version of the naked word) to express this specific shared experience of sometimes losing grasp of the powerful tools that are our words.