Now that glittery, fairy lights have faded a bit, I begin recalling the reasons I left this country in the first place. But leaving is no longer an option – moving back was a life decision looming larger than a bad day or a dishonest salesperson.
And this decision forces me to sit with the feelings of frustration, the anger and the utter seething, instead calling upon breathing techniques, relaxation exercises and letting go mantras inclusive of offering a sweet to the banker I’ve just cussed out.
Through this I realize that the small things are what wear a being down here, rubbing away layers of skin until exhaustion sets in and the exposed, raw feeling becomes akin to a toughened piece of meat that’s been hanging in the sun too many days on end.
Things like the security guard at the interior ministry who, attempting to exert some semblance of authority, says you can’t get in to see a clerk unless you return with missing documents X, Y and Z. So you heed his recommendation – he’s there day in and day out so he must know – and return 2 days later documents in fist, pants clinging to toochas from 30-degree heat and 70% humidity. This time the guard nods approval but once seated opposite the clerk, she informs that document W is the one you really need.
Or going to the bank to open an account only to discover there’s a computer indication next to your name prohibiting opening an account. The bank rep can’t say what that indication is all about and to no avail explanations of having closed up everything properly prior to exiting the country a decade earlier. Also, never mind that the computer entry was input a full two years after departure. And even further, never mind that you ring up the bank lady who handled your account ten years ago – who now, for obvious reasons, goes by “Harella” rather than “Hulda” – and although she sees no computer entry by your name suggests that you “come in anyway to talk with the branch manager”.
Like I have nothing better to do. Like isn’t this the same manager who, on the day I came in 15 years ago to withdraw funds for purchasing a car said it wouldn’t be possible until I threw a very vocal tantrum in the middle of his bank prompting a sudden freeing up of funds on his part?
No wonder Hulda, aka Harella sounded nervous when I identified myself. She probably thought I’d blow a gasket over the phone.
I haven’t had cigarette cravings like this in years…