Saturday, August 7, 2010

Over The Pacific - Part 4

As soon as we entered the main terminal at LAX, I felt the weight of my weariness. I had been travelling for so long, and had barely slept! I thought I was going to sleep the whole way, but for some reason it didn´t happen. Still, excited of being in Los Angeles International Airport after so many years, I collected my luggage and started to wander around the terminal, looking for the check-in counter of TACA International Airlines.

For those unaware, TACA is the national airline of El Salvador, and holds a monopoly over Central American airspace, having acquired over the years other smaller Central American airlines. My fascination with airplanes started, when I was a child, with the TACA planes I would see landing and taking off at Comalapa, the international airport in El Salvador. Despite TACA´s bad reputation (poor customer service, luggage getting lost, etc), it was a matter of national pride, at least for me, to enter El Salvador on a TACA flight after my 4 year exile in Australia.

My heart started beating faster when I eventually found the TACA counter at the LAX International terminal. As I expected, there were hundreds of people in the reduced allocated space for the counter and waiting lines, all speaking the natural Spanglish, the blend of Salvadoran Spanish and American English. It was here that I experienced, for the very first time in a long time, a glimpse of my culture and my people.

Many Salvadorans live, legally or illegaly, in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. It has been the city of choice for Salvadoran migrants who sacrifice everything to follow the American dream. Indeed, there are more Salvadorans in Los Angeles than Santa Ana, the second largest city in El Salvador. No wonder that the Los Angeles - San Salvador - Los Angeles flights are always in high demand.

It was there, waiting in line, that I started to feel at home. My heart continued to beat faster, and my mind was full of thoughts and memories, as I tried to eavesdrop the conversations of fellow Salvadorans around me as they shared with one another news and experiences about our country.

Time was running and I had to get going if I wanted to catch this plane. As I said before, I was feeling quite weary, and in my rush to get into the enourmous queue for security screening, I forgot to empty my water bottle. That was indeed a big mistake, which was brought to my attention by the security officer that had just screened my backpack with the water bottle in it. I ought to have put all liquids inside a clear plastic bag, or just empty the bottle and refill it inside. Ohh well, the price to pay was to step aside and wait a good 10 minutes until the officers had inspected all my hand luggage thoroughly.

Nothing to worry, since I had just enough time to board my plane. If the two previous planes were small, this plane was minuscule, or at least that was the impression I got. I figured out that TACA had increased the number of seats available per plane while keeping the same overall dimensions of the aircraft, reducing the legroom drastically. On top of that, the passengers were carrying way too much hand luggage, which was a problem when 3/4 of the passengers had boarded and all the overhead compartments were full. The crew had to send the remaining hand luggage to the checked luggaged compartment underneath.

At around 1AM Saturday local time we departed LAX, starting to experience glimpses of the Salvadoran ideosincrasy in that small TACA plane. A few more hours to go.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Over the Pacific - Part 3

We departed Hawaii at around 1pm Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. I was started to feel extremely weary, but as before was unable to sleep for too long. I re-read the book of memories and farewells, again feeling so lucky for the years in Australia. My mind started to drift into my memories of El Salvador. How different would it be? Will I be able to reconnect with my old friends? What sort of job will I be having over there? What about church? Will I forget my English?

The memories of home came rushing into my mind, and the excitement of going back was increasing by the minute, now that we were getting closer. I couldn´t possibly wait to see my beloved country again! Indeed, being an exile in Australia made me rethink my Salvadoran identity. From shame and disrespect, I became proud of my blood, of the Indigenous heritage that is undeniable in me. I was so keen to return to El Salvador and re-embrace a culture I somewhat despised 4 years ago, to cultural places and expressions I was previously ashamed of. As I was journeying across the Pacific, I was looking forward to being home. A different Vernon about to see home through a different perspective.

I was not shocked to see that the sunset was rapidly approaching. I was already used to the idea of travelling against the sun, in this madness where the clocks ticked against logic, and the biological cycles had already crashed long time ago. As the darkness swallowed our plane, the blue Pacific fused with the pitch black sky. The flashing light on the wing was the only reminder of our eastward journey into the void.

A few hours later, an ocean of lights started to appear in the horizon in front of us: an unequivocal sign that we were approaching the huge metropolis of Los Angeles. It was around 9pm Pacific Standard Time when we started to descend into continental American soil. I could see the characteristic square grid of a typical Spanish-founded city, and the city lights that had no end. Here I was again, in LAX, just like many other times in the past. A known territory, a gateway to the Americas, the last petrol station before arriving at our destination.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Over the Pacific - Part 2

The airport at Honolulu was quite small, but it had this special cozy atmosphere that is very hard to describe. The buildings were quite old, but very spacious, allowing a constant flow of the maritime breeze that cooled the tropical heat. In some of the waiting rooms there were random miniature planes hanging from the ceiling, which I found exceedingly interesting.

The other thing that hit me was the amount of Japanese people at the terminal. There were endless gates for the exclusive use of Japan Airlines, and the queues were full of happy Japanese tourists, taking the last pictures, and buying the last few memorabilia left in the stores before they returned to Japan. Quite amusing!

Like a tourist in a foreign land, I got somewhat lost looking for the check-in counter for Hawaiian Airlines. The plan was to check in, and then wander around the area. However, I spent almost half an hour looking for the said counter, and the only signs or information I could get was from airlines other than Hawaiian. I eventually found it, and it turned out that I needed to get going if I wanted to catch the plane. After emptying my water bottle, I passed through security and US Dept of Agriculture checkpoints, and proceeded to my gate, which was a bit far away. Interestingly, the hallway that connects the counters with the gates was not indoors, like any other airport I´ve been too. Rather, it was more like a long terrace, and the tropical heat of Hawaii was not helping when you had to carry a big heavy bag and running against time. In the end I made it on time, half way through boarding. I was dissapointed I did not get to see much of Hawaii at all, but I hope I may return some other time.

As we were boarding, I again noticed the demographics around me. As the previous flight, most of them were young caucasian couples and small families, all of them wearing luau motifs, and lots of shopping bags. The way they spoke suggested that they were mostly Americans, an obvious statment given the route (HNL-LAX). I already started to miss the beautiful Australian accent!

As before, the plane was exactly the same: a bit old and small. The leg room was even worse, but that was because someone was sitting next to me. But in the end, it did not matter too much. As we departed Honolulu, I was glued to the window, admiring the beautiful and pristine beaches below me, as we continued our journey to the US mainland.

Over the Pacific - Part 1

Once I passed Australian Immigration at Sydney International, I knew my time had really arrived. It was barely 7pm, and my flight would leave at around 9pm. Two hours to spare! Since I was going to be sitting down for unending hours, I decided to go for a walk around the International terminal. Most importantly, I wanted to buy something for the trip (to get rid off my last Australian spare coins). As I walked up and down the terminal, I finally saw the plane I was catching: a relatively small plane but with the beautiful livery of Hawaiian Airlines.

At around 8:30pm, I was allowed to enter the waiting room just next to the gate. Just before I had to turn my phone off, I texted as many people as I could, to say the final goodbye. I also had to say goodbye to a good friend of mine, with which I had been texting the whole two hours.

The loudspeakers finally made the boarding call for Hawaiian flight HA452. Destination: Honolulu, Hawaii. As we boarded, I could not help but notice the demographics of my fellow travellers. Most of the passengers consisted of couples, some young, some not too young. Because of their accent, I gather that most of them were Australian. Of course, they were wearing T-shirts and board shorts with Hawaiian or tropical motifs. I was one of the few that were wearing jeans and a heavy piece of hand luggage.

The plane was a bit smaller that expected, rather old and the seats were a bit uncomfortable. But it was fine nonetheless! The seat next to me was empty, so that allowed me to stretch a little bit more. As the plane took off, I was glued to the window, admiring the ocean of lights just below me, the last glimpses of Australia. Even though it was dark, I could still recognise the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House at the distance.

And so, the journey began. 21:30 Australian Eastern Standard Time. I felt a bit tired, but did not want to sleep yet. After reading a couple of pages of "The Plague" by Albert Camus, I decided it was time to open the notebook that my friends signed for me. It was all Dave Walker´s idea: for all of my friends to write on this notebook a memory of them with me, and to say a few words of farewell. As I read it, I was more laughing and smiling at what my crazy friends wrote rather than feeling the incredible pain of leaving. I was sad, yes, but deep within me burnt a gratitude to God for allowing me to spend a precious time in Australia, something that I have already written in this blog weeks ago. In a way, I knew that I had to move on, and so the transition over the Pacific, as I read the notebook and remembered the good times, was not as painful as I thought it was going to be.

Between Sydney and Honolulu there are around 10 hours worth of flying. I managed to sleep just over an hour or two, but not too much. In the meantime, I killed time reading or listening to music. And thinking, of course. Due to the fact that we were flying towards the east (and against the sun), the sun rose way earlier than expected. According to my estimations, at around 10:30am Hawaiian time, after breakfast, the plane descended and approached the Hawaiian isles. As we approached the runway at Honolulu International, the captain was explaining to us the locations, beaches, buildings and roads we were looking through our windows. Even from the plane you could see the pristine beaches, the white sand, the different degrees of blue and green in the water, and so on. It was beautiful!

So we landed at Honolulu Airport, at 11:00 Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time on a Friday morning (it was Saturday morning in Australia). Most of the Australian passengers seemed very excited, and with loud voices were telling their fellow travellers what they were going to do in Honolulu and the rest of the islands. As we disembarked and entered US-American soil, we passed through customs quite quickly (compared to previous experiences in LAX) After picking my checked luggage up and putting it in another carrousel for connecting flights, I decided to explore the International Airport at Honolulu.

Friday, April 23, 2010

...And So It Ends (Part Two)

Now that I think about it, my first day in Australia mirrors my last day in Australia. I arrived in Sydney on a Thursday night, 2nd of February 2006, and was picked up from the airport by my brother. The very next day, my brother was still doing his placement outside of Sydney, so he gave me instructions of how to take the train in order to go to the city. And so I did: that Friday I spent the whole day discovering Sydney by myself.

Four years later, I arrived in Sydney on a Thursday night, and was picked up from the train station by a friend. The very next day, my friend had to go to a hospital for placement, so he told me where the train station was, so that I could go to the city by myself. And so I did: this Friday I am spending the whole day re-discovering Sydney, taking pictures and being a tourist.

I came to Australia via Sydney, and Sydney is where I finally depart from this country. A true hub of transpacific migration. My point of entry and point of departure. My first and last minutes in Australia.

And so it ends. Now, to see what the future holds. But the memories, the friendships and the knowledge gained will always be with me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two Worlds Overlapping

My Australian experience has been amazing: in 4 years, I had the chance of embracing a new culture, new friendships, new perspectives on life and new experiences. Because the Salvadoran and Latin American communities in Townsville were rather small (in comparison to cities like Brisbane or Melbourne), my day-to-day experiences were, for the most part, with Australians and other international students from non-hispanic backgrounds.

At the beginning, this was a problem: arriving to a place that is so different from home requires a great deal of adjustment and patience. You have to get over the cultural shock, the frustration of not knowing where to go or what to do, and the sadness of apparent loneliness. After all, you are hundreds of thousands of kms from your hometown! Having only three or four Spanish-speaking people I could turn to in Townsville, adjusting to Australia was hard. I often wished I was in Brisbane, with my brother, because I knew that he would hang out with quite a lot of Salvadorans and Latin Americans, and that would have made the transition easier.

But God was faithful. I survived quite nicely, and succesfully adjusted to Australia after a couple of months. In fact, my incorporation into Australian culture was so succesful, that along the years my accent, use of words, humour and personality started to become more and more Australian. I would often discover myself feeling as if I had lived in Townsville all my life, and that those memories of a place called El Salvador were only dreams or products of my imagination. Don't get me wrong - is not that I was ashamed of my heritage, culture and country (on the contrary!) but my Salvadoran idiosincrasy was challenged everyday by an Australian culture that would accept me a little bit more as the days passed. Being an international student at JCU forces you to think, write, speak and learn in English, with the Australian paradigms and ways of thought. Deep within me, a dichotomy was established: a part of me culturally and racially bound to El Salvador (and Latin America), and another part of me bound to the Australian way of life in a remote city like Townsville, in the life I had to live as an international student at JCU.

Not having many Spanish-speaking people around me made it difficult to nourish the part of my heart that longed for El Salvador. Everything around me reminded me I was in Australia, tempting me to neglect my Salvadoran side. Thus, my Australian experience happened almost in isolation from my previous 19 years of my life in El Salvador. There was barely anything that tied both worlds together. In fact, the only links between them were the e-mails with my family, my music in Spanish, Facebook, a Salvadoran internet forum I visited (and continue to visit) fairly regularly, and of course, my memories. Those were the things that kept my Salvadoran heartbeat alive.

Four years after leaving my country, my folks came to Townsville for a holiday, but also to "pick me up", so to speak. Out of a sudden, then, the two worlds started to overlap to some degree I had not expected. As I spent time with my family for the very first time after so many years, all the happy and sad memories of my Salvadoran life came to me in a rush, like a furious river flowing down the mountains, aided by gravity. For a brief second, I was there again, in "el pasaje", hearing the familiar birds, eating the delicious Mesoamerican foods, listening to music in Spanish, admiring the familiar geography around me and living the life that was so normal and ordinary, a life that knew nothing about Australia...

The ringing of my mobile phone would suddenly wake me up from my day-dreaming: it was a friend from Christian Union at JCU, wondering if I was doing something that evening. I was back in my reality, in Australia. And so, the very best of both worlds were being united, as my family, representing my Salvadoran life, met my Australian world, my Aussie experience. In a mysterious and enigmatic mixture of feelings and thoughts, I am still caught in between two worlds, in the transition from one home to the other, in the pain of separation and farewell, and in the excitement of re-discovery and re-embrace.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

...And So It Ends (Part One)

27th of March, 2010 - Townsville, Australia.

I remember sitting on a plane, flying over the Pacific between LAX and Sydney Intl Airport. Flying west (with the sun), I was leaving my known world behind in El Salvador in order to pursue a higher education in Australia. A fresh start, a fresh page and a new beginning. The plane landed in Sydney at around 10pm local time. It was Friday, 3th of February 2006. And so it started.

Four years in Australia. Four years. It feels like nothing, but it feels like a long time as well. I came to pursue a degree in Pharmacology, which I officially obtained today, by the grace of God. Today, sitting there inside that auditorium, wearing a full academic gown, having received my testamur and listening to the motivational speeches of those who are ahead of us, I finally felt that sense of completion. I came to Australia to study, and my goal was accomplished today. 4 years of hard work, of long hours of study, of lots of coffee, of Maccas runs, of study sessions, of nights in the JCU Library, of going into the lab at crazy hours of the night to continue my experiments. 4 years of exciting learning, of subjects that pushed me to take that step further, to think outside the box and to have fun while learning. 4 years of an amazing academic journey that teased my mind and made me explore questions I never thought of, and to taste the pleasure and the excitement of the scientific endeavour.

I came to Australia for that, and today, I can say that I finished it. I've reached that goal that was so distant at the start, but that has been completed now. Above all, I thank my awesome God, whose grace sustained me through these four years, and gave me the strength, intelligence and courage to continue. And I thank those friends around me, those who suffered with me, who laughed with me, those with whom I shared my University experience at JCU, with its ups and downs. And of course, I thank my family, who would always encourage, love and support me, even from across the Pacific. I couldn't have done it without you.

And yet, I leave Australia with more than an academic accomplishment. I came here expecting just that, but no - God had bigger plans for me. During my 4 years in Australia I have been able to get to know so many people, from so different backgrounds and nationalities. It has been amazing to make so many new friendships, and to experience the "mateship" so typical of Australian culture. This was specially true whilst living at the residential colleges at JCU - I will always remember the laughs, the craziness, the shared life we had, and the gathering of good friends around the college dinner table. I will never forget those treasured moments!

But not only that. I had powerfully experienced the love, care, encouragement and fellowship of those whom I call my brothers and sisters in Christ. God has moved in my life in so many powerful ways through Christian Union and my church in Townsville. It has been an amazing spiritual journey, to grow in my understanding of God, and to embrace a deeper relationship not only with Christ, but also with my fellow brothers and sisters who also call Jesus their Lord. It humbles and excites me to realise that God continues to transform, not only me, but the whole church, into the likeness of Jesus Christ. And what a joy we can have in the hope that stems and flows out of this powerful Gospel!

Australia means so much to me, and I will be always be thankful for the opportunity to come to this country. I have become part of this culture, part of the furniture and part of this nation. I will still remain a Salvadoran Chocolate Bear, but with an Australian filling.

And so it ends, today, as well. With that farewell party, I officially say Goodbye to Australia, to my second home, to my extended family that I leave behind. The actual final Goodbye will be on my last day, and I hope to report on that day as well (i.e. there is Part Two coming xD).

Sadness, excitement, melancholy, happiness: a mixture of all of them. As the chapter entitled "Australia" draws to an end, I leave to new adventures, to new excitements, to new frontiers and to new blank pages. So many opportunities lying in front of me! But one thing is for sure: I will never forget this Great Southern Land and its people, a nation that opened its doors for me and adopted me for life, if not legally, at least in their hearts.

Thanks to all the people with whom I shared my life in Australia. You will be missed enormously, and in spite of the distance, I will not forget you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

30 Years Ago, in San Salvador

San Salvador, El Salvador, Monday the 24th of March, 1980. Just after 18:00, local time.

The Catholic Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, is offering Mass at the "La Divina Providencia" hospital chapel, in the suburb of Miramonte, in San Salvador. The occasion: the first anniversary of the death of Mrs Sara Meardi de Pinto, the mother of Jorge Pinto Jr, the owner of an independent Salvadoran newspaper that advocated for social justice. In spite of such occasion, the chapel is nearly empty - barely fifty people, among friends and family of Mrs Pinto, are present in the small building. Archbishop Romero continues with his sermon, standing behind the altar, remembering the life and works of Mrs Pinto:

"... I believe that tonight, brothers, we should not only pray for the eternal rest of our beloved sister, but above all, gather this message, a message that every Christian should live out intensely..."

San Salvador is amidst a political and social chaos. The 70's ended with a coup d'etat, followed by a provisional Government that fails to provide the answers to the many questions. Both the Left-Wing guerrillas and Right-Wing death squads are gaining strength, causing the spiral of violence to increase by the minute. The Army tries to halt the violence by increasing the oppression on the insurgents and those who cry for reform: the poor. The Government, hopeless, is unable to control the situation. Archbishop Romero, then, became one of the leading voices that call for reconciliation and the cease of violence. He becomes concerned for those who are poor, the oppressed and the needy who are being crushed by a Government that will not respond adequately.

Just the day before, on Sunday the 23rd of March, he concluded his Sunday sermon with the following:

"...I would like to make a special appeal to those in the Army, and specifically to the National Guard and the Police... Brothers, you belong to our same nation, and yet you kill your peasant brothers. Above the command from your superiors to kill, the Law of God should prevail, that Law that says: You shall not murder... No soldier is in the obligation to carry out an order against the Law of God. An immoral command nobody is in the obligation to follow... The Church, defender of the rights given by God, of the dignity of Humanity, cannot remain silent about these atrocities and abominations... In the name of God and in the name of those who suffer, whose cries rise up frantically to heaven, I supplicate you, I appeal to you, I command you in the name of God: Stop the repression!.."

But today, Archbishop Romero continues with his sermon on this early Monday evening, encouraging the audience to fight the fight that Mrs Pinto herself fought: the fight of justice, of peace, of love, the fight of one who used her own newspaper to denounce the social injustice in El Salvador. He is about to finish his sermon now, which will be followed by Holy Communion. For that reason, he starts to raise the chalice as he utters the last words:

"...Let this crushed body and this sacrificed blood, the body and blood of Christ, be also the encouragement to give our own body and blood to suffering and pain, and just like Christ, not for himself, but to show the concepts of justice and peace to our people. Let us be intimately united, then, in faith and hope, as we pray for Mrs Sarita and for us..."

The cup is now fully above his head.

Suddenly, a powerful sound is heard. A sound originated from the outside, maybe from the person that is now running away from the main entrance of the chapel. A sound so overwhelming that sounds almost like a bomb, like some dreadful explosion. And within fractions of a second, the bullet hits Archbishop Romero, who stands behind the altar, his hands holding the cup above his head. He stumbles backwards, losing the grip of the cup, spilling wine all over the altar, exactly where Romero's blood had also spilled a few seconds ago.

"...If I am killed, I shall rise in the Salvadoran people..."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The 80's - Inherited Nostalgia?

I was indeed born in the 80's. It was in the year 1986, just a couple of weeks after a powerful earthquake shattered my city to pieces. However, to be honest, I have barely any memories from the historic decade of the 80's. The only long-lasting memory I have is a vague memory of the Civil War in my country. On the 11th of November 1989, the Salvadoran Guerrillas entered the city of San Salvador in order to provoke a massive middle-class insurrection against the right-wing government. My first memory, then, is of my family frightened, hiding us in some obscure corner of the house as we heard the shootings and bombings just around the corner from us. That is as much as I remember, being 3 years old when the 1990's officially started.

I was born in the 80's - but most of my conscious awareness and memories are only found in the 90's onwards. I embraced the 90's, the end of the Salvadoran Civil War and the hope for a better future, growing up in what came to be the "Y" or "MTV" generation, shaped by all the cultural elements we adopted from our American/European counterparts. However, I inherited copious amounts of cultural expressions from an era I just missed. Through the musical influence of my parents and my older brother, I grew up in the 90's listening to the music of the 60's, 70's and 80's, both in Spanish and English. It was just part of the every day life, to play my dad's LP's and listen to by-gone eras, at times imagining myself being a teenager or young-adult during the 70's or 80's. My parents' nostalgia for their "good ol' times" made me experience, if only in my imagination, a snapshot of life back then. For a brief duration of a song, I was there, with them, in my imaginary reconstruction of an era I wished I experienced.

I was amused: being nostalgic of an era I did not even experience, wanting to live out memories that weren't mine! And that made it better, making my imagination fly freely.

I still love the music from the previous generations - and sometimes I consider it better than the music that surrounded me by the late 90's and early 00's. But at times I can't work out whether the nostalgia I still feel now is for those eras I did not experience, or rather a nostalgia for my nostalgic childhood? In the end, it doesn't matter - I can still admire the inherent power in music, a power that distorts time and geography: a real time machine.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Classical Music

One of the things I love about music it's its inherent capacity to transmit ideas and perspectives. I always considered music to be a "time machine" - when we close our eyes and listen attentively we can be transported through space and time, as if -just for a brief moment- ignoring the laws of Physics in order to follow those laws of Memory and Imagination.

To me, the act of listening to 'classical music' represents a journey in space and time to the Europe of the XVII, XVIII and XIX centuries. When I hear the works of Chopin, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Tschaikovsky and Schubert I suddenly find myself in Florence, Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Saint Petersburg or Moscow, inside the palaces of extinct kingdoms and wandering across long-forgotten war fields. With easiness I find myself submerged in by-gone worlds, in the Modern and Pre-Contemporary Era of Western History, in the "Old World" and its natural and historical beauty.

Spanning from Barroque to Romanticism, the sublime works of these composers of old allow us to glance, with increasing wonder, the world in which they lived. I really appreciate the treasures of Classical Music, because they allow me to have a glimpse of an era I did not experience, but would have loved to. I even become nostalgic at times - nostalgic of an era I missed because I was born two or three centuries later, in the stupid banality of the XXI Century, where what is plastic, easy, stupid, and simple is praised over what is artistic, complicated and classic.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Una de las cosas que me agradan de la vida adulta es que uno tiene una percepción más moderada del mundo que le rodea. Se que muchos de nosotros deseamos regresar a la inocencia que tuvimos en nuestra infancia, pero agradezco que puedo ver con distintos ojos aquellas cosas que alguna vez me sacaban de mis casillas.

Resulta que le estoy rentando un cuarto a una familia australiana en mi ciudad, y dicha familia tiene muchos hijos. El último de ellos ya tiene 15 años, y está en lo mejor de su adolescencia. Aunque he vivido con ellos por los últimos 6 meses, es hasta hace un par de semanas que ya dejó notar los "berrinches clásicos" de los adolescentes. La mamá del susodicho es un amor de persona, muy atenta y siempre pendiente de todo - y éste susodicho le responde todo grosero, le grita, le dice que lo que hace está mal, siempre está en desacuerdo con ella, etc. Lo que me llama la atención es que la mamá, tranquila y con mucha paciencia, le dice las cosas y no le grita de regreso ni le lanza improperios jeje. A mi, sinceramente, me saca un poco de mis casillas las quejas y la manera como trata a su misma madre. Miro con admiración a la madre del susodicho, porque si yo estuviese en su lugar, ya le hubiese dejado bien claro que como adolescente le debe respeto y obediencia a sus padres. ¡Y los papás del susodicho que son tan buena onda y tan llevaderos!

Pero no puedo ocultar que yo mismo pasé por esa etapa. Recuerdo ahora con bochorno y con verguenza la manera como le respondía a mi madre con puras malcriadezas, y la forma como hacía las cosas a regañadientes, malhumorado y deseando -a veces- que mis papás no estuvieran ahí para que me dejasen al fín en paz. Recuerdo mi soberbia y mi orgullo, mi falta de respeto, mis excusas para no ayudar en la casa y la eterna retahila "¿Bueno, y mi hermano por qué no ayuda pués? ¡Solo yo tengo que hacer todo y él feliz, haciendo nada!", ahora entendiendo lo mucho que mi hermano ayudaba en los que-haceres de la casa, mucho más que yo. Y lo mejor es que él lo hacía en silencio, en obediencia, mientras yo hacía el gran alboroto y terminaba no haciendo nada.

Ahh, la adolescencia. Es yuca para ambos padres e hijos, y es una etapa que requiere mucho trabajo y diálogo. Aunque he de decir que mis padres me instaron a obedecer por pura disciplina (bajo la amenaza del cincho, la chancleta, etc), y el día de hoy estoy agradecido que me "pusieron en cintura" y me enseñaron mucho con su ejemplo. Aunque la nostalgia sigue ahí, ahora veo esas épocas con verguenza, porque de plano que yo le hice la vida cuadritos a mis padres que tanto bien me deseaban.

Es hasta cuando llegué a mi adultez que pude entender el amor de mis padres en el contexto de la disciplina, y ver lo desagradecido que fui con ellos. De eso ya le comentaba al susodicho jeje, y les deseo a ambos padres e hijo que logren sobrevivir esa dura etapa del desarrollo juvenil.

Por ahora, como invitado en su casa, me toca tener paciencia y mostrar, por medio del ejemplo mismo, que los que-haceres del hogar no son gran cosa y que no hay razón para refunfuñar :).