You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.
I have never found a quote that I identify with as much as this. With my recent penchant for acquiring addresses, I constantly find myself less and less able to say where I’d want to spend the rest of my life. I don’t think I am capable of being stationary every again.
I’m apologizing now, this is going to be a rant post. Feel free to skip to the next bit of orange to check out the awesome recipe for mofongo, or scroll to the bottom if you are crazy enough to want to hear updates on my life.
With the onset of autumn here in Copenhagen, I’ve found myself daydreaming about my travels to warmer climes. The ache of nostalgia has been especially compounded by the news (or lack thereof) coming from one of my favorite places ever: Puerto Rico. At this point, I feel a deep sense of hopelessness at my inability to help this vibrant nation, seeing as how ineffective my prayers seem to be. I’ve signed up to volunteer once rebuilding starts, but I believe that’s all I can do for now. I can only imagine the despair plaguing those trapped on the island, as well as their families on the mainland.
I have been battling with my feeling of culpability for places I’ve never called home, but still fallen in love with. That’s the struggle of traveling. I find myself homesick for so many places across the globe that I feel like Elastigirl, but my draw to so many homes doesn’t seem to diminish the strength of any of them. Nostalgia sucks because you find yourself yearning for an Austin untouched by Californians, a New Orleans untouched by Katrina, a undamaged Puerto Rico and a home that’s no longer yours. It feels like a throat punch from adulthood. I don’t like it.
But I digress.
All of this nostalgia has had me craving a bit of food from my time in Puerto Rico, and at home. My mom would often make Mofongo con Camarones Al Ajillo, one of Puerto Rico’s most popular dishes, to remind us of our travels there.
This past Sunday, my homestay family and I had a relaxing day where we explored the glass market, called Torvehallerne, for lunch. The area has amazing food and wonderful, fresh groceries, so it was nice to spend a rare sunny afternoon there. As soon as I noticed one of the stalls had fresh green plantains (a rarity here in Denmark), you can bet your buttons I yelled at Annette, my homestay mom, that I was in charge of dinner that evening. I was just somewhat proud of the fact that the guy working at the stall had no clue what I was making (and tried to invite himself over for dinner to sample it).
Of course, Denmark doesn’t sell headless and already-deveined shrimp, so a solid 2 hours was spent preparing those little bad boys for what is a normally easy meal. Oh well, the food disappeared in about 10 seconds, so I know it was worth it!
In other news, there’s been more changes than the weather here. My friend Francesca, who I’m going to Paris with, is actually moving into my homestay with me. Her homestay wasn’t working out, and we have an extra room, so now I have get to have sleepovers every night!
Additionally, my little pet project has been my bike. I got it for super cheap on the Danish version of Craigslist, and for good reason. Though the frame is nice, the rear brake doesn’t work, it’s kind of a fixie because you can’t shift and it’s rusted as all get-out. However, I discovered this cool little company that offers a cross between spray-painting and powder coating and have been spiffing my chariot up a bit here and there. My end game is to sell this fixed-up bike at a profit when I leave at the end of the year. I may do a post about it, I may not. We shall see.
Finally, I bid you adieu so that I may pack for my next grand adventure. I’m off to the Norwegian fjords in the morning!
Phrase of the week:
Hvad siger du?
(Vah see-uhh doo)
Meaning “what did you say,” it’s a good way to get people to repeat themselves when your blank stares aren’t driving the point across. Can also be used in an exclamatory manner not entirely dissimilar to “whatchu talkin’ bout Willis.”