Monday, March 7, 2011

Don't Cry for Me ...

Argentina? Well, I don't think Argentina is crying for me, and I'm not to the point of tears but I really miss Buenos Aires. A LOT. I was feeling homesick for it this past month while I was in D.C. but it has intensified since I arrived here in Botswana. Don't get me wrong, I like "Gabs" as the locals call Gaborone, but I am just missing Buenos Aires. Going through the well-documented and expected stages of culture shock, if you will.

I miss the people I worked with in BsAs, they were awesome. All of my friends there. And the FOOD. Mostly the food :) The restaurant scene here looks bleak so far. The city of Buenos Aires itself was so vibrant and so much fun. I went to bed every night after midnight, got up, powered through the next day and did it all over again.

The thing was, there was always something going on every night of the week, and it was normal to stay out doing things (plus we didn't have to be at work until 8:45 a.m.).

Here, I have been crashing around 7-8:00 p.m., waking up, dragging myself to my room to get ready for bed, passing out again and then waking up at six-forty-freaking-five in the morning to be at work by 7:30 a.m.!!!!!! Unheard of! I don't think I've seen 6:45 a.m. for the past two years. OK, maybe when Nile was a newborn. But still, it is kind of crazy. Poor Neil must be putting Nile to bed every night, because I have no recollection of her after around 6:30 p.m., poor thing.

It's just really quiet here in Gabs, and there is nothing going on. I can't feel an energy to this city like I did in BsAs. It's just all quiet within our white-walled property, lulling me into a coma.

I am sure some of the fatigue is just because I finished my first week on the new job so there is a lot to do and learn. Plus, on my second day (last Tuesday), my officemate left on vacation for a month, so I am working for my boss AND her boss (the BIG boss)!

The other reason I think I really miss Argentina is because I don't know if I'll ever go back. That is the main reason. I don't feel homesick at all for the States, because I know I will always go back, and the people and places are a phone call, Skype video chat, or plane ride away.

But Buenos Aires is a big question mark, because it is so expensive to get there and it's one of those "why would I go back?" I mean, I love it, but do I love it enough to go there for a meager week or two of vacation, after having lived there for two years? Spending all the time and money to not be able to have the same kind of experience I had before? And deal with the expense and logistics of hotel/car rental/taxi, etc. especially with a baby in tow? It seems like a week or two vacation wouldn't do it justice; I wouldn't really get a feel for how I remember it. You can never go home again, as they say; things always change and certainly things in BsAs will change and will have changed.

So an R&R or other vacation there doesn't seem realistic. So would I want to go back for a tour? Absolutely. Except for the fact that it would be 3 years I could spend exploring a new part of the world. As much as I love the idea of travel and new things, I do take a little while to adjust and I think I get attached to things. So I am feeling separation anxiety from Buenos Aires ...  :(  feeling pretty glum.

Also, if I did another tour there, as I said, it wouldn't be the same. There would be a whole new team there (except probably most of the local staff would still be there). Maybe I'd want to live in the same neighborhood, which might not be a possibility. And if I couldn't live in the same place, etc., would that change my whole experience? Sure. And would I want to try to recreate my experience from the past two years -- recreate the impossible? Maybe. And that's not a good thing.

So I am stuck just feeling a hole called Buenos Aires.

8 comments:

Travelin' Tracy said...

Well, it should cheer you up to know that I was just spending my weekend at a Model UN high school conference and there was a man there that had worked for the foreign service for 30 yrs. I told him about a friend of mine that just moved to Botswana and he said, "oh, you must visit her. Africa is a special place. You would love to go on a safari with your child." So just wait until you get to share that with Nile!

Bfiles said...

I totally get where you are coming from. You had a really vibrant life in an amazing city, and I'm sure it's going to take some time to adjust to your new post. I've asked the same questions about places I've lived and loved, will I go back? And even if I do, will it be the same? I haven't been to Southern Africa, but I bet that after a while, you will come to love the slow pace. Here (and it sounds like in BA, too) we are so rushed! Good luck settling in.

Rosie Posie said...

Ah Meg. I am so sorry you have a hole in your heart for Buenos Aires. I tried to call you a little bit ago, but I hadn't read your blog to know you were already in the big B. Can I call you now? Is all your stuff set up? Should I call you between the time you take your nap and go to bed?:)

Lacey said...

I hope it passes soon. I feel a tiny bit similar leaving Alexandria and now being at the farm. It is...quiet here. Just know you will have lots of visitors and we can party all night long in Gabs. It was perfect seeing you guys so much while you were here. I have a hole in my heart for the Walton's.

Jeanne said...

I am wrapping up my first tour in the next month and am already feeling all the emotions you just described....

Lisa said...

Hi Megan - I found your blog through the FS community blog site and will be having an opposite 2nd tour experience from yours. I'm currently in the DRC and will be going to BA for my next post. I'm a bit intimidated by ALL the things it seems I will be able to do in BA. I have loved being in Africa - DRC is probably one of the hardest posts here, but you will adjust and learn to love some things about this continent too. And you are soooooo lucky to be so close to the South African border too. That will help you feel connected to the "real" world. And safaris are great! I'll be coming through Botswana in May on one and I'm so excited - Botswana is supposed to be one of the best places! Would love to chat about BA sometime (and Gabs). You can find me on the GAL. cheers!

modestmuse said...

Aww, thanks for all of the perspective. Bfiles, you're right, it is kind of a blessing to have a slower pace. TT, PLEASE come visit us! That goes for everyone, but particularly you, Lacey since it might actually happen?! Rosemay, when I haven't been at work I've been asleep it seems, but let's connect this weekend. Lisa, just sent you an e-mail!

Kimberly said...

Hey, don´t feel so bad! I went through the same when I came back from BA. You feel sad and nostalgic for all the things you lived in such a magical city and you can´t let go. On my first month back from Argentina, I would miss my buenos aires apartment so much that I staarted looking at pictures of it in the computer. It is normal, but you have to think that the possibility of going back exists and you can do it anytime!
Kim