― bell hooks —
― bell hooks
Finally bought my ticket!!! May 3 2013
My former room mate in China told me that once you buy your ticket for home - it will be as if a weight will be lifted of the shoulders. And she was right. I went on Tuesday and I finally bought my ticket for Miami and Jamaica. It cost a pretty penny but after two years of no family - I figure just go for it. Unfortunately I couldn’t get to go to Istanbul or Macedonia but I figure I will make time to go when there is an opportunity. I will have layovers in Frankfort and Vienna, spend a week in Florida and then three weeks with the family in Jamaica- go back to Miami and then back here. I am excited and right now I have started making my list as to what I need to bring back here.
- Jamaican White Rum: I have been overseas and I miss the rum plus I figure small bottles of the stuff will be given out as gifts.
- Seasonings (allspice, curry and jerk seasonings): I made it but I think there are some things that are definitely lacking. I am looking forward to using them in barbecues.
- Solomon Gundy (pickled fish)
- Pork: in a place like Kurdistan, pork is a precious commodity lol
- see if I can find some of my old things
- New external drive - I need to get a new one as I noticed there were some problems.
- Possibly do some shopping for new clothes but we shall see.
- Renew my passport!! - I am a little annoyed for all the hype about security, the US Consulate has not facilities for citizens to renew their passports here. They say that we have to go to Baghdad but of course I can’t go in person to renew it because it is a Red Zone for Americans not in security AKA too damn dangerous. Wonderful use of tax payer dollars. So it is either Miami or Jamaica for renewal.
- Bank Account… I think I’m growing up I need my own damn debit/ credit card.
For my family I am making a list too:
- Pomegranate syrup: its is an integral part in Middle Eastern cuisine
- Seasonings (for dolma, briyani)
- My art piece for my mother
- The Turkish eye
- Macedonian souvenirs
- Prayer beads
- Need to ask my bro if he wants a shisha pipe or something.
- ….. me?
I booked the trip for the 3rd of July and I am very excited about that! I am now counting down the days for the trip!
Home…. May 1, 2013
I have been thinking about the concept of “home” for a while but it finally
sink sunk in when I was explaining a grammar point - the difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’.
“Teacher - I am going to go to home.”
“No,” I replied, “I am going to go home. I am going to go to the house but not to the home. For house, it is a building; a residence whereas home, is a concept that you cannot touch or feel. So I go home and I go to the house.”
I was only guessing when I said this so I decided to check it online with the Learning English BBC site and I found this: House describes a particular type of building. Home is the place where you live and feel that you belong to.
I like to watch people, interesting to learn… and I found each person has one place where they wish they could go back and live… home. One American teacher J - his home is Thailand as he lived there for seven years and even has a wife there. Another good friend MX, his home is Laos and he lived there for four years. My friend who loves to cook - her home is the Czech Republic although I wonder if that has changed as meeting someone you love will do. Another friend here DJ -J has made Kurdistan his home as his wife is from Kurdistan. You have one guy who is Canadian but his heart in in Russia and my roommate well she lived in Kuwait for many years so it is between Kuwait and Texas. My bosses though Canadian now call Spain home and have a house there. It is interesting that one can travel and still have one spot to call home. I did not care for my experience in China but I have friends who have lived in China for up to seven years and they can’t see themselves living anywhere else.
Persons who travel not for pleasure but strictly for work have this concept a bit more clear cut. Like my friends from the Balkans - they reside here out of necessity but their home is in the Balkans - Bosnia, Macedonia, Serbia… Sometimes one can be divided between two places - and for one place there will be a love hate relationship between the place you reside which is different from home. For Kurdistan, the expats here will complain and or comment about the differences between their own country and here using examples from daily experiences to weave a tale of the expat life here. Secretly though, people love to complain and talk about the drama of the moment and creating the link to memories, reactions and ideas brought to the surface at the time. But in reality, they will stay out of necessity, or even because they have made a little space for themselves here in their own way.
Sometimes ‘home’ is not in a space but with people. For me at this stage ‘home’ is with my parents - who are currently in Jamaica.Then because of my capoeira group and the bonds I made at the UPTC in Colombia; I thought of making my life there whether teaching English or opening a restaurant. Then I met my EX when I came to Kurdistan and I thought at the time, I would always want to be this happy and if he went anywhere I would find a way to go with him. I had lost my urge to travel just because I was content. But when we split, I fell apart and I found myself in the dilemma that I had as a child - where is home? I tried to make a home out of a person not from the family and that was wrong. You put yourself at risk to be a shadow of your former self….
I don’t know where is home. I am American but I was born and raised in Jamaica… but I never considered it home. It is a love hate relationship I have with this country even if others outside of the country sit in shock saying it is a paradise. In the USA, my home is Florida because of the house and my brother. I at one point and maybe I still do- thought that my home was Colombia. It was a fantastic experience for me and I still long to see Colombia again. But Colombia is one of those places that if you go - you either want to run away as quick as possible or you live there. I wanted to see the world and I am glad that I left to travel even if it pains me that every year passing makes the yearning for the country wane. That’s the thing with home. You don’t love the literal place, you love the feelings stirred, the bonds made and the comfort of the lifestyle. Since my EX
was is from Macedonia, I decided to explore the country for myself and for the time I visited; I loved it. But it reminded me of Colombia - not a place to save money but a place to live if you saved enough money to live your days out comfortably. Kurdistan is the house of necessity for a lot of expats - businesses are booming and people come to invest and make enough money to make a life and build or find a home. Some eventually made their home here and they are content.
I hope one day I can finally find home. Maybe I am my own home.