I’m fairly sure my mother had gypsy blood. Mama was always moving. Even when she stayed in the same city for a while she never stayed in a house for long. When I was a child we moved often. I have no childhood friends, rarely began and ended the school year at the same school and I didn’t know most of my relatives at all, those I did meet I didn’t know for long. We moved for all sorts of reasons, economics, politics, romance, but mostly I think we just moved because moving on was in Mama’s blood. My sister and brother have been fairly stable, but I got the wanderlust. Since I was born I have lived in around 100 houses. I am 46. That’s an average of about 2 a year (gypsies are good at math). Since I lived in one house for 5 years, my record, of course I’ve moved more than twice in some years. I remember a year when my son was small we lived in 9 houses. Since I’ve been in Argentina, 18 months, I’ve lived in 4 houses. In all the places I’ve lived I settled in quickly. I always felt at home. It became habit to connect myself easily to any place I put my tooth brush away. Just as habitual to pick it up again and move it to the next place.
Our apartment here in Argentina is no different. It is my sanctuary in the bustling locomotion that is Buenos Aires. This is an interesting city, maybe a bit too interesting for me. Though I’ve lived in many places I’ve never lived in a city this dense before. Half of the 40 million human beings in Argentina live in the region and half of those commute into the city to work. I think most of them work on my block. As luck would have it they are all on the subway at any time I need to use it and there is rarely a time when the line in the grocery store doesn’t seem to stretch all the way to Rio. It is hectic, crowded, loud and fast paced. This is the perfect environment for many, and we have friends who thrive on it. I have discovered it isn’t for me. There is still much to see, to do, to learn from Buenos Aires and so while our apartment is for sale I will continue to engage with the city. I have learned so much more Spanish since arriving here, though I still am far from fluent and would like to be. I have learned much about the culture, but there are still things that perplex me and while my local friends are too polite to call attention to it, I know I still make social faux pas (is social faux pas redundant?). I have started to feel that I need to hustle too. To rush around and get my fill because when our apartment sells, which will likely be early this spring, we’ll be off to what’s next.
The view from our terrace of New Year's Eve fireworks across the city
When we go this time we won’t be headed back to San Diego, the city that was my happy orbit for 25 years, but to a new place. Miami has a rich international art scene, warm weather (a must for me) and a strong yoga culture with room for a good yoga studio in the neighborhood Jimmy and I want to live in. It is a big metropolitan area, but very spread out, not so dense, a little more room to breathe. I don’t imagine the first house we live in will be our last there, but I do hope we can find a place we like and stay for a while. I don’t think my gypsy’s heart will ever let me be in one place for good, but I do wonder what it would be like to look up one day and notice that I’d slept in the same room for 10 years, or 20....