Thursday, April 24, 2008


...being lost
is worth the coming home
-Stones, Neil Diamond 1971

Gee I left the US sort of happy and looking forward to the trip, there was alot of "juice" in going rather than staying. However as someone pointed out, you can't expect to understand the Portenos during the first year. That maybe true, plus the slow job seach, plus some plain laziness creeping all adds up to I miss certain things about the USA.

I miss the convenience of stores. In California you can run to the market and pick up a box of fried chicken for fairly cheap prices, pick up some deserts, and whammo you experience an instant gratification feeling. Here the service is medium-lousy, the waits always long and pointless, and there is no fried chicken ready to eat anywhere!

I also miss bacon, eggs, strong coffee and pancakes a food staple found in all 50 states with sugar and butter for the asking. So now I have taken up making pancakes from scratch because my hosts always have oil (aceite) and a mixing bowl and flour of some kind. There are pans and spatulas and butter. I carry the baking soda in my backpack for tooth brushing. All I need to buy is a couple eggs at a kiosko, then I can start enjoying that full stomached, American feeling of having eaten hot, buttery flapjacks.

Popcorn is another delicacy that is available at the local mercados, though not all. When I made a pot of popcorn usually the other South Americans present would ask "what's all the noise about?" but rarely asked for a handfull of the stuff.

About the second month of feeling the tearing feeling of not being anywhere in particular, I began craving Steely Dan songs so using You Tube at the locutorio one day, their song from the LP Katy Lied totally nailed my feeling for me:

If I had my way
I would move to another lifetime
I'd quit my job
Ride the train through the misty nighttime
I'll be ready when my feet touch ground
Wherever I come down
And if the folks will have me
Then they'll have me

Any world that I'm welcome to
Is better than the one I come from

I can hear your words
When you speak of what you are and have seen
I can see your hand
Reaching out through a shining daydream
Where the days and nights are not the same
Captured happy in a picture frame
Honey I will be there
Yes I'll be there


I got this thing inside me
That's got to find a place to hide me
I only know I must obey
This feeling I can't explain away

I think I'll go to the park
Watch the children playing
Perhaps I'll find in my head
What my heart is saying
A vision of a child returning
A kingdom where the sky is burning
Honey I will be there
Yes I'll be there


Any World That I'm Welcome To (1975)

How did those two guys from New York who were amazing songwriters know that people go through periods like that? It felt like they had planted an easter egg to be opened 35 years later when the need arose.

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