Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Home Is Where The Mango Is

My body arrived in Brazil 48 hours ago but my spirit is still lost in transit somewhere, last seen browsing the duty free shops in Heathrow's Terminal five. I'm still floating around in a jet-lagged, sleep-deprived fog. This morning, I think I made waffles for breakfast in my sleep for a child that had been up since 4.30am. Tonight, I'm ready for bed and it's barely 7pm.

So, when people keep asking me how it feels to be back in Brazil after six weeks, what can I say? I feel nothing? On one hand I should be sadder at leaving things behind; On the other I should be happier about coming 'home'. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle. Certainly, when I started thinking about all the things I would miss, I realised that there was something of equal measure that I could be thankful for...

For instance, I'll miss British berries: juicy, fragrant, summer-sweet strawberries: raspberries as luscious as a big fat French kiss, that you can stick your tongue right inside and roll around until they burst.

But I will have passion fruits and mangoes.

I will miss English roses: the cumulus clouds of white and pink blossoms that flood over stone garden walls, into which I like to stick my entire face to inhale their heavenly sweetness.

But I will have orchids.

I will miss the dairy aisle: the food-porn pleasures of thick-set Greek yogurt, crème fraîche, yellow Cornish clotted cream and French cheeses that deliciously ooze and stink.

But I will have a lower risk of heart attack.

I will miss the distinctly middle class shopping experience: gentrified shopping streets with tearooms and coffee houses: shops that sell stuff that falls comfortably between expensive designer and made-in-China rubbish.

But someone will pack my bag for me at the supermarket and carry it all the way home.

I will miss Sunday barbeques in the garden that stretch on into the late-lit evening, enjoying charred, fat-to-bursting pork sausages.

But I can enjoy the best filet steak in the world, as often as I like.

I will miss baked beans but give thanks for black ones: Indian food but will learn to cook Moqueca: The Thames Path but will run on the Aterro: friends but I will make new ones: family but I have my children and husband.

I will miss home, but my home is here: And my spirit just walked through the front door, without any baggage.


  1. i feel you natasha, well put. i was gone 6 weeks too and now i've been back almost 2 and still feel somewhere imbetween.....and i still haven't seen you! hope to catch up soon. thanks for writing..nora