It seems spring is the time of year people publish articles and blogs about all the things they wish they’d known or did, or wish you to know or do. My email is the unwilling recipient of a tidal wave of titles from twenty and thirty-somethings touting 9 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About My 30s, Things I Wish I Knew at 25, and 25 Things You Must Know By The Time You Turn 30. Sites like Medium and Bloglovin rain thoughtful, provocative, timeless pearls of wisdom past my spam filter, filling the folder titled, “Emails from the Ninth Circle of Hell,” where a rule designed to keep them out of my inbox reroutes them until the highlighted unread-email indicator becomes sufficiently annoying as to require action.
I recently attained enlightenment. At 7:46 PM UTC on 3 January 2017, 48 yrs, 236 days, 8 hrs, 15 mins, 31 seconds after exiting the womb and starting the search—I was progressive at a very young age—enlightenment descended over me like warm rays of sunshine. I know this because I tweeted as much seconds after the event—minus the colorful prose.
India, especially southern India, is almost always warm enough for a nice island cocktail—we don’t need to make our fruity drink and then stare out the window longing for summer because it’s always summer! So, in the spirit of Brazilian nationalism and just in time for the holidays, I present Expat Roberto’s Caipirinha con Rum, aka la bebida que hace querer quitarse la ropa—Yes, I’m aware that is Spanish. Yes, I’m aware they speak Portuguese in Brazil. No, I’m not interested in learning Portuguese.
The five stage phenomenon is not limited to grief. Expats the world over experience a variety of intense, sometimes suffocating, occasionally debilitating emotions on their journey from denial to acceptance. Understanding those emotional stages is an important step toward a healthy, humorous expat experience.
When we purchased our first house years ago in a small suburb of a major midwestern city, it was more than a home, it was a storage facility. Over the course of thirteen years, we accumulated furniture, unused construction materials, camping gear, sporting equipment, and all manner of miscellany. Despite all of the various items obtained over the years, there always remained enough room for another shoebox.