First week is done. Life is always easier than I think it´s going to be. There were a few nervous points, but nothing that didn´t fade as soon as the class began. It takes me a while to warm up, but I´m fine once I begin. I stole some personality traits from other teachers to build my own. Add that to years of trying to be less threatening to smaller people than a giant can be and I´m good.
I thought it would be stranger to be the tallest person around by a foot. It´s really not. People aren´t that obvious about noticing me. If I wasn´t watching, I wouldn´t even notice. A man hesitates when he sees me, then relaxes when I greet him. An old woman steps into the street to go around a car and avoid my path. The surprise in their eyes, the questions. I spent a lot of my life trying to be invisible, and now I follow a path where I will always be noticed.
I don´t really mind though. I find people´s reactions interesting, but not that surprising. It happened in the states, just not as often. The best part is, it´s easier to see danger. When everyone hesitates, or looks away, then the people who don´t stand out. They´re not always threatening, like the bus drivers that seem half dead inside until they hit a stoplight next to another bus. Then they open the doors and yell and laugh at each other. It´s like the only real social part of their day. I think the cursing is just part of their language, required when take the job.
There isn´t a lot of difference between the people here and at home. Friendly enough, busy, happy, sad, whatever. The thing I notice is the moments in between. I watched an escalator for close to an hour while waiting for a movie to start. When couple got on, they would hold each other and kiss. Not weird gross attention whore kissing, just quietly, calmly, happily. Every age from teen to grandparents did the same thing. The few exceptions almost always had children. It´s not weird here. People notice, and look, but they don´t turn away or stare. It´s just part of life. That moment that most people back home never seem to take. It´s like that new relationship romance never seems to fade here. Not completely.
I was surprised to find a couple of the shop keepers still remember me. There are so many schools around here foreigners are not uncommon. Two of our class have had problems with food poisoning this week, and the teacher. One of those can be tied to the purchase of a whole bottle of tequila for two people. He did get to learn the value of pezolé when it comes to hangovers. I´ve noticed that it takes time for some people to accept the value of moderation.
The class is about a wide spread of people as you can find. British, American and Mexican. Spread across countries and the world. The older British man has such a classic British voice. I expect to look at him and see a suit and a glass of brandy. Then I look and see a British face in the most Honduran clothes imaginable. After a week I still hear that suit. It´s a paradox to see in action.
The others are less interesting. A few college grads and teachers looking to get certification. People looking to travel, or to get a job in the city. Nothing outside of the norm. It´s actually what I expected from a class like this. They are far more excited for the adventure to come than I am, but I´m happy to steal some of that feeling for a time, trading them for a trip to a restaurant. Good food goes a long way.
I read somewhere that if your heart isn´t in your stomach once a day your life is too easy. I think about that a lot. It´s not so bad here, but I´m not a certain as I could be at home. The predictable life has it´s benefits, but I know basically where it ends. In the long run, this will end the same, but I´m betting the ride is going to be so much more fun.
I know there is nothing new for me in the world, but there is so much that is old and forgotten back home that it might as well be. Medicine is all chemicals and surgery. People don´t trust their intuition. They don´t realize there is a better way to walk, talk, breath, listen, and wait than what they learned only by copying the people around them. Everything we think we are can be changed, and will.
I try and direct what I am becoming, and I´m always surprised by the results. Whether it works or it doesn´t. I need to be aggressive, so I copied part of one personality. I want to be more patient, so I take another. I want to appear dangerous when I am threatened, and I take another. To feel love, sadness, to enjoy music, to read people, to be friendly, all taken from lives I´ve crossed. So, with every day I become someone new.