I am not the best at transitions. My family and my college roommates can likely attest to that. I am even worse at goodbyes. My transition from Peruvian life to American life is looming ahead in the not so distant future and it scares the socks off of me. So, as my support group, here are a couple things you can all do to help make my transition just a little bit easier.
- Sit next to me. I mean, really sit next to me. Peruvians do not have a sense of personal space and even complete strangers will practically sit on top of you. At first, this drove me crazy, but I have come to like it and get insulted when someone does not sit next to me. So please, when you sit next to me, make sure we are at least shoulder to shoulder and I will likely scootch closer.
- Greet me with a kiss on the cheek. Not in that annoying, snobby girl way, but in that warm Peruvian way that says, “hey, I’m actually happy to see you”. It may take me a while to break this habit, so you all may as well just give in and give me a peck back.
- Call me names like Gringita, Flacita, Merry, and Catita.
- Urinate in public.
- Remind me to wear my seatbelt. Partly because I will forget due to the lack of seatbelts in the past eleven months, but partly because the collectivo drivers always have to remind the front seat passenger to put safety first (which usually means looping the ripped seatbelt over your shoulder so as not to get a ticket).
- Do not ask about my year unless you really want to know. This will not be a quick answer and I will probably talk for hours. So please, save yourself the trouble and only ask if you are truly interested.
- Let me bask in the glory of seemingly endless toilet paper, hand soap and toilet seats.
- Let me eat a lot of rice. More importantly, eat a lot of rice with me.
- Honk your horn. All. The. Time. Honk your horn to turn a corner. Honk your horn when you pass someone on the street. Honk your horn when you see someone you know. Honk your horn when you see someone you don’t know. Honk your horn to tell someone you want to buy a marciano or some picarones as you drive by. If you could change your horn to sound like an ice cream truck or a clown car, sea mucho mejor.
- Say words like “Google”, “Youtube” and “Skype” as “googly”, “youtubey” and “eskypey”. It brings me endless joy.
- Have dinner with me. Or lunch. Then, just sit for hours, chatting about nothing in particular and with no rush to be anywhere else.
My contract with CMMB is up in a month, after which, I plan on doing some travelling around South America with a friend before heading back home for Thanksgiving. Any suggestions of places to go/people to meet in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay or Bolivia would be much appreciated.