Things are in reach. I mean I guess they always are, but it depends on if you have enough clarity to see them.
My masters paper is moving along, finally after four setbacks. I am now 7 weeks away from turning in a “submission ready” draft. I can do this. After those 7+ weeks, when my paper is turned in and my presentation is presented, who knows what is in store next…more Colombia? Perhaps an adventure in Eastern Europe? I really have no idea. One thing I have been trying to work on this year is trusting in my heart. I want to trust more in doing what I am feeling, rather than what I think is right or what other people want me to do. I need to learn how to appease me, and not others. I need to teach myself that it is not my responsibility for others’ happiness.
Take this past weekend for example. DaVinci had friends in town for a downhill mountain bike race in a neighboring town.
His friend, similarly named, but we shall call him DiCaprio, and a 17 year-old boy named Tru-lu-lu, arrived Thursday night. DiCaprio´s wife arrived Friday evening. Our apartment is wonderful, but by no means not large enough for two couples and a teenager. But, hey! We are in Latin America! Everyone wants to be in each other´s business. Totally fine.
Friday went off without a hitch. I had my usual Davinci breakfast and went on my way to work as the boys went to practice the trail. However, that evening brought a different agenda. I went from looking forward to a night out with a group of friends to feeling left out and hungry. No bueno. Finding out 30 minutes in advance that we had to pick up the wife from the airport, my hopes and dreams for Friday night were ruined. The airport drive is always longer than expected and then trying to pick a place for dinner was a painful struggle. P-A-I-N-F-U-L.
Indecisiveness coupled with Medellin’s busy restaurants on a Friday night was disappointing. I definitely didn’t get the social experience I wanted and was left with an even more disappointing overly citrused tabouli variety at a veggie restaurant.
Saturday morning I again had my normal DaVinci cooked breakfast 🙂 But the morning slowly descended into normal Colombian confusion. The road to the race in Copacabana was temporarily out of order because of a fallen pole, but luckily we arrived just as things were getting started and the boys got their numbers in time to race. However, even more confusion ensued when DiCaprio´s wife was put in charge of picking up the boys at the bottom of the hill to ride back up. She forgot the truck keys.
After picking up the boys got sorted out, I was able to start enjoying the actual race. Watching the riders was pretty amazing, but I could have done better with more snacks, readily available cold beverages and a more swift schedule. The day was close to coming to an end, until we realized we had lost DiCaprio…Fortunately, he didn’t know he was lost. He was found by DaVinci, just casually watching the other bikers cross the finish line, enjoying a beer.
Closer and closer to food and shade, we were almost rear ended by a sleezy drug dealer in an old Renault who had no idea how to drive and we bottomed out on about 4 speed bumps, but we finally made it out of Copacabana. This day had already been happening since like 7 am, leaving me with 12 hours without a real meal since breakfast.
Surprise! Everyone wants to go home and shower. Throughout all of this pre-dinner stuff, we try to decide where to actually go for dinner. Prerequisites include: somewhere that has meat, somewhere not in centro because that would be beneath everyone, somewhere that has young girls (for before mentioned Tru-lu-lu) and somewhere cheap enough for Tru-lu-lu. Hmmmmm kay. The burger place was nixed because of the challenge of parking, pizza place was nixed because its vegetarian and bbq place was nixed because it’s too expensive. So we end up in a mall food court. I swear, I can´t make this up.
Only in Colombia do you have guests in town and end up taking them for dinner on a Saturday night to a mall food court….I ended up spendng $10 on really shitty chinese food. I wouldn´t even spend that in the U.S.! I am unbelievably cranky and starting to take it out on pretty much everyone. I try to save the mood (because mind you, everyone seems miserable and no one is really talking) by suggesting treats from Crepes and Waffles, since they did just perform physical exertion all day. God forbid we all deserve a treat. Nope, no one interested. They rather walk around the mall, which is closed now, followed by a nice walk about in the parking garage because they don´t remember where the car is…I mean…Now you can see why I think it is my responsibility to take care of people. Adult peoples.
For some odd odd reason, they are still interested in going elsewhere. Possibly a cool park. First park is nixed because of difficulty parking. Second nixed because it doesn´t have a proper bar. Soooo we settle on going all the way across town to the hip Carlos E area. We arrive safely, until DiCaprio´s wife tries parking and backs into a huge cement base for a light pole. This night couldn´t feel longer. At first, I thought it was my bad mood and starving body tainting the mood of the night, but I began seeing that they were just not easy to please people. I just don’t understand his friends. Whether it is a language or cultural barrier, I’m not sure. I connect so well with DaVinci, that I did not expect to feel so differently with his friends.
We make it home, exhausted from all the burdens of hosting. I am agitated further when DaVinci informs me that he is still biking in the morning (leaving at 7), but his friends are not going biking so I will be seeing them off in the AM…Sounds about right and totally makes sense right? No gracias. I have things to do. Without these people. So I inform him I can’t be making breakfast all morning because I have to prepare and wait for my thesis advisors´call. Remember? That whole Master’s thing I have to do…So I wake up, make coffee and mind my business. Thankfully they pack up and head out early enough to let me have my Sunday to myself.
I lay in bed, getting my thesis stuff ready all morning and my advisor calls at the dead end of the window of time we discussed. The call goes quickly enough and I am on my way to my 5,000 pesos manicure 🙂 I get picked up by DaVinci on the new motorcycle and we ride around in the hot sun before deciding on a new seafood restaurant near home to try. Our afternoon unravels into naps, shopping and drinking…Our life is perfect. I however, allow other people´s happiness interfere with my own. Things are absolutely fine when it’s just us. Am I that selfish or do other people just suck? I want to be better and easier to be around, but is it too much to ask for logic and nice things?! Can’t a girl just get a treat from Crepes and Waffles?! Life is perfect after all. These are good problems to have.