Thankful to be Home.

I couldn’t have planned it better. My work VISA came in and I had to return to the States. Normally I would only get three days off work, but both of my Saturday classes cancelled this week, so I left Thursday night after class and made it to my sister’s house around midnight. I love Thanksgiving dinner, and my sister has finally reached the point where the food is perfect.

I was supposed to try and go to the consulate Friday, but they are closed for Thanksgiving weekend. It’s fine, I just went surfing, dug through my storage unit, and ate all the foods I missed. I can’t eat like I used to though. The burritos here are huge, and I used to finish one then move on to a quesadilla, but I can’t do it. I’ve lost twenty-five pounds in the last three months is Guadalajara. I haven’t been this light since I was in high school. Even then I wasn’t this healthy. A lot of walking combined with awesome food I guess. It makes surfing so much easier.

I went out to Silver Strand Friday and Saturday. Friday was good. Somewhat calm, decent waves, and I actually would call what I did surfing. I used to be much more top heavy. It made the pop-ups and balance much more difficult to perfect. Now, I have more bad habits than physical issues. I really miss surfing. Maybe I’ll move to Puerto Vallarta in a year or so. Someplace on the beach, like Sayulita. I’m visiting there on my next vacation after I come home for Christmas. It’s only a few days, but maybe I’ll decide to make it more permanent. Spend my second year in Mexico on a beach somewhere.

It’s strange being back. I find myself surprised when the people in the stores speak English. Sometimes I respond in Spanish anyway out of habit. I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to readjust to the language, but I don’t really want to. My Spanish isn’t good enough for me to stop practicing just yet.

Having so little time here is good and bad. I find I’m trying to cram everything into such a short period of time that it’s hard to get everything done. There is a martial arts seminar on Sunday, and that’s probably the only reason I’m getting to see all my martial arts friends. Some people I always go out of my way to see, others I am lucky to have it work out. The more the merrier, and I can sleep when I get back home. So far, it looks like only one thing I wanted to do won’t work out. I count that as a win in my book.

I remember doing something like this before I left. Surfing, martial arts, seeing friends, good times. It’s the same now, just in fast forward. It’s not relaxing, but it’s awesome anyway. I’m not looking forward to the consulate on Monday morning, but that is standard. I hear it runs like the DMV back in the 1980’s. Very slow, confusing, and dull. I’ll make my mom go with me. She seems fine with the idea, and it will give us more time together.

Art Camacho’s seminar is tomorrow in Tijuana. I missed the last one because he decided to go down there the same day my flight left for Guadalajara, and I couldn’t delay. If there was any trouble on Sunday I would have missed the beginning of my TEFL course, and that was not going to happen. Any other time would have been fine, just not that weekend. That’s life though, an endless stream of bad timing and trying to adjust.

I was talking to the Herald and I realized I have started to compare everything here to Mexico. The simple things like the streets actually having lines, signs, and lights, the language difference, the whole feel of how open the city is. Then we moved on to the Fergerson issue. I know it’s terrible, for both sides. The family of the victim is devastated. The officer will probably be reliving the event for the rest of his life, which isn’t as bad, but can still be a personal hell. One statistic I read showed that if a police officer who never used lethal force on the job had an average life span of 65 years. An office who pulled his weapon and killed another person once, no matter how just or unjust, had an average life span of 50 years. Something that is such a small portion of a person’s life, maybe a few minutes at most, can cost a person 15 years of life. In our culture, it is obviously something we aren’t meant to do.

It’s a bad situation, and many people are up in arms over the whole thing. Then I remember Mexico. I just came from a country where they are protesting the torture, execution, and murder of 43 students by the police and the mayor. Some of them were set on fire while they were still alive. One was reported to have been shot by the mayor himself. When they first disappeared there was a search. The search was slowed down in part because they kept finding mass graves, but not the correct one. From what I know, in the end they mayor confessed, and his reason was that he didn’t want the students protesting at one of his wife’s events. A bit of perspective can be terrifying sometimes. I wonder what our country would do if something so violently corrupt happened within our borders instead of just on our doorstep.

It’s different here for me now. I don’t know if I’ve changed that much, or if it’s just that the trip is too short to really adapt back to this world. It’s a good trip so far, and I’m glad I was lucky enough to make it. I surfed, a good friend gave me a rosary from Jerusalem, I learned a new form for Tai Chi, and I have eaten well with friends and family. The best part is, it’s only half over.

Tijuana from the sky.

Tijuana from the sky.

Some city we passed over. A little light in a sea of darkness.

Some city we passed over. A little light in a sea of darkness.

The outskirts of Guadalajara.

The outskirts of Guadalajara.

This is what it looks like when the flash goes off while you're on a plane.

This is what it looks like when the flash goes off while you’re on a plane.

I miss it already.

I miss it already.

The smaller waves never used to hold me.

The smaller waves never used to hold me.

On the way to Coronado.

On the way to Coronado.

The Coronado Bridge.

The Coronado Bridge.

A small wedding on the beach. Not uncommon in a military town to have such an important day alone.

A small wedding on the beach. Not uncommon in a military town to have such an important day alone.

A good day to surf. The waves were coming in a bit fast, but more than worth the whole trip.

A good day to surf. The waves were coming in a bit fast, but more than worth the whole trip.

The beaches tend to be empty this time of year. The water is too cold for most.

The beaches tend to be empty this time of year. The water is too cold for most.

A morning at the Strand.

A morning at the Strand.

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3 Responses to Thankful to be Home.

  1. Sandra Arthur says:

    Good to have you home too, shortly though it might be. I’ll miss you all over again when you leave, but I’m really proud of you.

    Like

  2. James, you’re a wonder and a something special. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say hey in person. I meant to thank you heaps for your postcard before and for thinking of mom n me so kindly. Best wishes and greatest affection always!

    Like

  3. James,
    you’re truly something special. Keep writing here! Sorry if I don’t get to see you in person. Oh and thank you for thinking of my mom n me kindly with that thoughtful postcard! We loved it and were pleasantly surprised by it!

    Like

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