Monday, June 3, 2013
It has been over a month since my last South American adventure.
What happened in the meantime? Well, I closed a chapter in my life and said goodbye to the southern half of this continent (yes, it was sad and I miss it). And I happened to end up in Cincinnati, Ohio. This will be my "home" base for the next couple of months. If you had asked me 3 years ago, in what city I would see myself living in the future, Cincinnati wouldn't have been the answer (I probably didn't even know where it was exactly). But this is how life (and in my case: love) goes and here I am. To be honest, for the past month I have been mostly sleeping, working and enjoying the fact that I wasn't packing (and carrying) my 15-kilo-heavy backpack every 3 days. The rest of the time, I was trying to deal with my culture shock. I have to admit, it hit me way harder than I expected. Sure, I was enthusiastic about being in the States for about one week: There was hot water coming out of the sink (also, there always WAS water/hot water), I finally could buy my favorite chewing gum again and the service at the restaurants was overwhelmingly friendly. BUT, soon enough reality hit me. A lot of it might have to do with being in Cincinnati. A friend from Barcelona said about the city: "It's a small town. I mean, it's like a lot of small towns that make up a big small town, but it is still a small town." I agree! You can tell that people here are just a 30-minute-drive away from Kentucky. So in my first weeks here I had to get used to the fact that it seems to be completely normal to go shopping on Saturdays and come back with a gun (that you proudly show your neighbors). I couldn't (and still can't) stand that I have to drive everywhere. Also, I had to talk to very ... let's call them ignorant ... people that couldn't tell the difference between Africa and South America. And what's even worse: Whenever somebody asked me what I thought about South America, they expected the sentence to end with "but I am glad to be back in the US". Needless to say, that I got as excited as a little puppy every time I happened to run into a Latino. And I got the impression, they felt the same way. Finally, somebody that "speaks" your language, somebody that doesn't think it's gross to greet a person with a kiss on the cheek and that doesn't think you're crazy because you have left the US (and liked it). BUT, the important part is, I found these people (not only Latinos). They might be a bit more scarce in Cincinnati but they exist. So slowly but surely, the city is growing on me.
I have also started to write a weekly column for an online magazine (http://www.ourtown.com/cincipulse/) where I talk about my ventures and adventures in the city; stories that I would like to share with you here, too. So stay tuned!
- ▼ June (6)