Tuesday, 7 January 2014

There's no place like home

Going to Brazil — or rather “home”, for all that matters — as a mere visitor is an unique and enlightening experience. It gives you the opportunity to see the things you know all too well from a slightly different point of view. You are able to perceive minor changes in appearances and behaviors that you wouldn’t otherwise, and even your level of acceptance is much higher towards some of the stuff (or people) that would annoy you on a daily basis. The most important realisation ensued from a visit like this, however, is that nothing in fact ever changes.

Yes, of course you might get shocked when seeing for the first time that cousin who’s gone into puberty during your absence. He’s now wearing only black, gothic clothes and talking back to his mom in front of the whole family; he’s experiencing those kind of developments both in body and mind that are not always comfortable. But you know, and you’re probably the only one who can see it, that his essence remains the same. His voice is the same, although lower in pitch and higher in stiffness; his hair looks exactly as before, except longer and dyed black; even his way of walking hasn’t changed, only now he struggles to balance on some high heeled boots. Only you can notice in his eyes the same old caring grandson and promising child. It’s all just a phase.

When it comes to catching up with your friends, which really isn’t the same in time of internet, Facebook and WhatsApp, this soothing feeling of sameness is even more accentuated. Your best friend is still your best friend, with the same idiosyncrasies that you always hated; your second best friend is still there for you no matter what; and your third best friend is also there, still waiting for a chance to step up in the ranking. That is because the reasons why you were once brought together haven’t changed a bit. Circumstances might have done so, which gives the impression that your friendship has somehow been altered, but few minutes seated at the same table and drinking from the same bottle is enough to bring everything back.

Learning that nothing ever changes is a very relaxing realisation. It gives you the freedom to go out there and try to shake things up a little bit. It provides you with the necessary courage to dive into the darkness of the unknown just for the sake of an adventure. Because you’re now aware that whenever you want it — whenever you need it — your happy and comfortable old life will be there waiting for you. With the addition of some spikes and eye markers, of course, but still the same convenient environment where you’re sure to be loose and satisfied.