The Ugly Face of Homesickness


The first time Hector wanted us to do the Paleo diet, after 8 days, I had a total break down and cried bitterly as I yelled, “You are starving our family!” True words from a carb addict, right? He was shocked and told me to eat an apple. That wasn’t the best thing for him to say. He should have asked for something that wouldn’t hurt if it flew at him. Like a piece of bread… Oh wait, we didn’t have any. Because he forbade it. {Not really. I did the diet willingly, but an addict has to hate on someone. The second time we did the diet, I was much happier.}

Day 8 in Brazil was a rainy day. As I took clothes from a washing machine to hang them, because there AREN’T ANY dryers, I thought of my beautiful front-loading dryer, calling to me from the storage unit. I missed Kerstin who came every Wednesday to play with the boys while speaking German. Darian would be starting preschool at his amazing school that I loved. Missed my friends. My gym. My bed.  And I missed Trader Joe’s so much. So, so much. I was hungry. Really, really hungry.

My favorite thing to do at 2 pm when everyone is fussy and WILL NOT TAKE A NAP is drive to Sonic for happy hour. Well, really, I would drive around until the fussy people fell asleep because they are trapped in their car seats, arrive and order a drink, then I would sit there for an hour enjoying how quiet it was while I read a book. One time the Sonic girl told me I looked really familiar. I was too embarrassed to tell her it was because I went there all the time during happy hour. I bet you are all thinking, “Wow, this lady is so smart.” Maybe, ridiculous… Whatever.

Well, it was 4 pm in Brazil {2 pm in Dallas}, and I was CRAVING something. Nolan went down for a nap, and Darian was being a fussy monster, who WOULDN’T take a nap. So I asked him if he wanted to walk in the rain. I left the house with an excited 3 year old.

First, we walked the wrong way. Next, a huge bus went by splashing water 3 feet high onto the sidewalk. Then more cars went by. Then we went the right way. We finally got to the bakery, and it was closed. Not because it was supposed to be closed. Just because they felt like it. I was mad at Brazil. “Dumb, Brazil!” Then we went to the grocery store, more rain, more splashing busses. Everything looked gross on the streets and was flooding with trash floating everywhere. “I hate Brazil.”

I got to the grocery store and bought a roll of slightly okay cookies. Darian kept telling me, “Don’t eat them all, Mom!” And very wisely took as many as he could before they were gone. When we got home, Hector asked how it was going. I smiled and ignored him. I wanted chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joes. I also wanted sautéed spinach with chicken and capers from Trader Joes, and any other pre made meal that they have. I didn’t want my horrible cooking.

Everything was awful. And I knew it was because I am an addict to all my American food. So I said nothing. Complained zero. I didn’t want to be angry and embarrass myself. Because I knew that tomorrow would come, and Hector always loves to tell embarrassing things I do no matter how many times I say that story isn’t up for being told.

I cried in my head until tomorrow came. It was sunny. We went to the beach and played for hours. In the afternoon, my kids and I played games and sang songs, and it was everything I could hope for. Brazil also looked very beautiful and tropical. I was so happy. So happy that day 8 had past. So happy that I could move forward.

Adelaide Homesick

Now it is day 15. After not having a car for 2 weeks and walking everywhere or taking a cheap taxi, plus not being tempted with every fatty thing I love in America, I have gone from a size 6 to a very healthy size 0. Really, the size 0 are gap shorts, and I don’t think they run true to size. {I think Gap just wants people to feel a size better.} But that is what I’m wearing right now, and they say size 0. So thank you, Brazil and Gap. I feel fit and strong and have a wonderful tan—as in I’m not as white as paper, more like off white or mother of pearl.

I am also no longer home {food} sick. But… um… send me some El Pollo Loco, please.