Friday, October 02, 2009

pieces

You'd think the auto registration center for the area would be rather official. You'd think it would have more than a shack-like quality with a couple dudes sitting behind desks so old you wouldn't believe with the A/C wall unit rattling behind them covered in dust. You'd think, but then you'd be thinking all wrong.

We pay our money and they give us a receipt. What about the plates I ask and the man smiles. Oh mon, we are out of plates. The entire country is out of plates. J starts to get nervous, we still don't know all the rules. We can't drive around without plates he says. Oh yes, mon. You aren't in America any more so you need to relax. Besides, everybody knows we are out of plates. Here, I'll write you a note. And he does.

So at the checkpoint we get stopped. You don't have any plates they say. Your country is out of plates we reply and we hand him our little note. He glances at it. Oh that's right he says. We are out of plates and smiles and waves us on. Everyone does know we say and we laugh. And we laugh extra hard and I keep saying The Country Is Out Of Plates! No Plates Anywhere! And I laugh some more.

I love the lunch time school pick up. Everyone goes home for lunch so all the mamas and the papas and the abuelas and abuelos and tias and tios gather under the shade, some with umbrellas, some in taxis, the old men laugh and the women gossip. We wait for the bell and wait some more for our own uniformed child to come racing out. Mine is easy to pick out of a crowd here and as she spots me she breaks out into a grin. She races over and we climb in the car while joyously turning on the A/C. The car is still the one place we are cool although with the fall has come cooler weather and it's getting harder to complain. We pass goats on the way home and a woman with a basket on her head and it starts to rain. A horse blocks my way and I have to honk and it tosses it's mane disdainfully as if to tell me he's been here long before me. I see my neighbor on the road and we wave.

I like it here, I like it here a lot.



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8 comments:

meno said...

A lesson in how to live with trust.

Amber said...

I was just in a very small village here in Canada that is effectively out of plates. Or, at least, no one had any. It's surprising to me to see just how much I take for granted, assuming it's part of life when it just really isn't.

Omaha Mama said...

Beautiful. Happy. Strange. I love reading about your life. Thank you for writing. ;0)

flutter said...

it sounds perfect for you. Perfect.

painted maypole said...

so joyful.

Mike said...

I'm not totally sure how I found your blog, but I'm loving it. I cracked up out loud in my own cubicle cell at the "The Country Is Out Of Plates!" bit. You've got a great voice... I'm still trying to figure out what "jungle" you're actually in, though..?

Gwen said...

Life in a third world country. This made me laugh in recognition. All out plates! But, of course.

alejna said...

Hello, lovely Jen! I'm sorry I haven't commented in a while. I was crazy busy and then travelling. I've poked my head in here to read a few times, though.

I just reread this post, and wanted to let you know how much I liked it. I love these little glimpses you give into your new life.