- Personal Stories & Opinions>
- Different Life Trajectories for the Expat in Latin America
Today, I woke up at around 11 AM.
Saw that my sister texted me asking “what’s up?”
Of course, I couldn’t help myself but reply “THE SKY!”
Don’t crucify me.
Regardless, we had another conversation.
Which I appreciate because you do miss talking with folks from back home and also it’s always a good opportunity to vomit out all my thoughts relevant to life in Latin America.
Granted, I usually prefer to do so with another foreigner who lives down here and “gets it.”
But there is value in laying down all those thoughts on someone who is completely an outsider with no experience down here.
It might be the case you get a perspective that you haven’t considered before.
For it’s own reasons we won’t get into here.
Anyhow, it goes both ways, no?
She ended up talking about her own life in the US.
In our conversation, she started talking about different things that come to mind like the following:
- Attending a baby shower and details relevant to that.
- Discussing her ex-boyfriend that she had a kid with.
- Plans about buying a house.
- A date she went on years ago with a 5’6 dude who cried “wHy DoNt yOu LikE sHoRt MeN?!”
- Some childhood bully who is mean to her daughter and how the Ukrainian mother of that bully is a raging cunt who needs a broomstick shoved up her ass.
- Other topics relevant to raising a child in general.
So on and so on…
Now, in hearing all of this, it almost took me back to a degree.
It was like she was describing a completely different life that I am not used to whatsoever.
Mostly the logistics of raising a child and the politics that surround dealing with the ex and neighborhood families.
Completely alien to me.
In suggesting to her solutions to the neighborhood bully, I did have her put me on speaker for her kid to listen to me.
Then I blasted this song here through my phone here so her kid would know that you handle bullies by….
STOMPING THEM IN THE NUTS!
And though I don’t know if she appreciated my unlawful advice to go kicking the shit out of people….
I almost felt like she was thinking “OK Uncle Matt, let’s not be a bad influence on my daughter. I don’t want her kicking the shit out of every child in the neighborhood.”
Still, I think it’s a good idea!
Don’t like someone? STOMP THEM IN THE NUTS!
And, though being honest, I don’t stomp too many people in the nuts these days…
Only smashing pussy walls for me, you know?
There is a part of you, after living enough time down here, that becomes “more informal.”
Where kicking the shit out of someone seems more normal if they cross a line.
While in the US, given the heavier efficiency of the cops, maybe it’d get you in jail more easily?
Down here, a bribe, if it comes to that (and it often won’t), can solve that issue.
So a broomstick in the Ukrainian woman’s ass then?
Sounds perfect to me!
Let’s ask Billy Bob Thorton what he thinks about childhood bullies then.....
Anyway, that’s all a side point.
How to deal with childhood bullies and how, living in different areas of the world, we might have more or less “tolerance for informalities.”
But it’s all shit talk.
I wouldn’t shove a broomstick up her ass…
I’m too nice.
Maybe a kick down the stairs when she is pregnant again?
Something less aggressive…
Still, bad jokes aside, as I was saying, there was a stronger realization that hit me in our conversation that I alluded to.
Different Life Paths
It was stunning to me almost to listen to her discuss it all anyhow.
The politics of raising a child.
Though I was only half joking about the violence against the Ukrainian woman, I was serious about how “informal” I would be with her.
Not so much kicking her down a stairs…
But, over the time down here, I feel I would be a little bit more aggressive.
Maybe it’s the alcohol though?
That’s a side point – there’s a part of me that hates being an ass to people but, if drunk enough, I’ll tell you how I feel quick enough.
I try to control it though.
It’s easier with a more formal woman in your life – a girlfriend or something.
Someone who can squeeze your hand when, knowing how you are, can sense tension before the tension even builds up.
Still, it was very interesting to listen to all of these “politics” that she plays with raising a child.
As I said, such a different life from my own.
And it’s not just her!
To be honest, I have, once on a blue moon every year while drunk, looked up old friends from high school on Facebook.
What are they doing now?
Well, let me check right now!
You want to know about Matt’s old high school friends?!
I’ll fucking tell you!
So grab your vodka and listen.
The first one, named David, is working at café in Missouri.
Another guy is a firefighter in Texas.
Some chick that I barely knew seems to be a model or prostitute or some shit in Florida.
Her photos are very suggestive so I’m guessing prostitute here.
Who knows – maybe a Saudi dude is shitting on her face or something in Dubai.
Not that I judge. Some people have different culinary tastes.
On that note, another chick from college is actually a model.
Some dude named Robert died in a bathtub somehow and left a kid behind in this world.
There’s a chick named Christina, though I don’t know what she does, I think she is in healthcare?
Some shit like that.
Has a kid also.
Also, there’s some guy named Seth who, from what I remember, seemed relatively more liberal and atheist in high school but seems bigger on Christianity and conservatism now?
I could be wrong but that’s my brief impression running through his Facebook a second ago.
So on and so on!
And it’s interesting, no?
I don’t know – maybe it’s just me.
But I said this to my sister how “our lives seem so different.”
And she get where I was coming from but said “well, that’s normal even up here.”
Before I could even explain how “our lives were so different,” she explained the “up here” bit.
Which is a side point – if you move and live abroad early enough in your life like me, somethings that might seem “Latin American” are really just things that happen everywhere.
But you didn’t spend enough time in your home country to appreciate that.
So you attribute it to being something that “happens down here.”
Either way, she saw where I was going and mentioned how that’s a thing that happened to her also.
In which the life trajectories of her friends from high school was, in many ways, very different from hers.
For me, I would say though that the difference is a tiny bit bigger here.
As I said to her, I always thought it would be weird for me to go to a “high school reunion” because I wondered how folks from school would take in the “I live in Mexico” bit.
I imagine it would mostly be just a bunch of questions that focus on the typical assumptions about safety down here and how I support myself.
Which is fine (though the topic of safety does annoy me but that’s another topic).
I did have a brief experience with that though.
When I visited my local bank in Iowa some few years ago, I had to renew my bank card before a trip back to Mexico.
There was this hot black chick sitting in front of me that had a very nice personality.
And there was this chick standing behind her who I went to high school with.
In high school, she had problems from what I remember.
Mostly just stomping out of the classroom and always getting into heated arguments with the teachers.
Not sure what problems she had at home to be fair but it did seem like she had emotional issues to say the least.
Still, while there, I asked politely to the black chick about “when will the new card show up?”
Largely because I was going back to Mexico soon.
And the familiar chick behind her said in a louder voice “why?! You going to stay there forever?!”
Really making customer service in Latin America look nice in comparison, aren’t we?
Still, I only said “yeah, I live there.”
Which, to her, left a look of confusion on her face and she walked away.
Perhaps in part because that might’ve been just a weird response and, in her mind, probably bullshit.
“What? You live there?”
Which, again, shows the disconnect.
How many people from my childhood would find the idea that I live in Mexico to be so bizarre?
I have no idea.
I have other experiences with that in college though.
One former friend named Kevin from college who, in senior year, found it so strange that I travelled to South America for an extended period of time.
But then other friends, mostly those who were foreigners in the US, who found it cool and interesting.
Perhaps they found it less weird to be living in a country that is not your own.
Still, above all else, that’s one thing I’ve noticed.
Which is, as the older you get, the more disconnect you feel between your own life and those from back home.
Different life trajectories.
Different life outcomes.
And it is something that happens to those who stay home.
Though, when you live abroad, I feel that the gap in life trajectory is wider for both sides when listening to the life of the other person.
Be it you listening to your sister talk about going Grand Theft Auto on the Ukrainian bitch.
To her listening to you talk about informalities of life in Latin America.
A topic I touched on more here.
Anyhow, that’s all I got to say.
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Thanks for reading.