23 May 2005

Return of the semi-native

On Thursday, I left for Bogotá in search of my ever-elusive Colombian passport. I won't go into the long and incredibly boring details, but will say that I can't be the only dual citizen over 25 who's had to do this! (Judging from my experience, it would seem that way.) Thankfully, at the 11th hour, things worked out and I can now actually leave the country during vacation next month. (So far, so good.)

It was good to see my family, although I wound up house-bound all weekend due to unforseen circumstances. This meant no Episode III for me. (Nuts.) Of course, the upside was that I got a lot of reading done: I finished Nabokov's Lectures on Don Quixote and Brian Boyd's intriguing analysis of Pale Fire. (More on that tomorrow.) However, I soon found myself with nothing to read (!). My aunt and grandmother are moving to a new apartment soon (after about 40 years in their current home in La Soledad), and all of the books are sealed in boxes. But my cousin came through...

Somehow, he had a 1957 paperback copy of Alan Le May's western The Unforgiven stashed away in his room. In English. Also (as a joke) a 1950s-era "Basic Guide to Marriage" (courtesy of Planned Parenthood). Too funny.

I tore through the western, finishing it while waiting for my plane back to Santa Marta. It was pretty typical of the genre and nostalgically reminded me of all those Zane Grey books I used to read--but bloodier. (As a teenager, I would've given anything to be Rachel Zachary.) It was definitely absorbing and helped pass the time. Although it has nothing to do with the film Unforgiven (as I originally thought), it was made into a film starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn back in the day. And apparently, Alan Le May also wrote The Searchers. (Yes, that makes sense. Despite the stock themes, it was surprisingly unsentimental.)

Things got better. At the airport this afternoon, I had my first mocha since leaving the States at the beginning of April (!) and--glory be!!--had the luxury of browsing in a bookstore for over an hour (also a first since leaving the States). Pure heaven.

Looking through a stack on the display table, I found this...

...and promptly bought it. I started reading it on the plane. I think I'm still glowing.

So in spite of everything, it was a pretty good weekend. It was lovely to see my family and share a room with my 91-year-old grandmother, who rises at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast for everyone. (She has the drollest little chuckle.) I gazed out a back window at Monserrate in the rain, and saw a gorgeous rainbow. A pigeon wandered into the dining room (I escorted him out). And I'm that much closer to full dual citizenship.


Chelsey said...

I'd love to leave a droll comment in passing, but as it is, I hope we'll all just settle for--

Hey there.

Take care.

crocodylia said...

Would you like a literary care package? If you're stuck without reading material...that's no good! Let me know. Show me a wishlist!

amcorrea said...

Chelsey...thanks for the kind thoughts. I'll try to drop you a line soon.

Crocky...what a lovely offer!! I'll keep you posted on this front. I'll be ok until my trip home next month, when I plan to do some more stocking up. But if there's anything in particular you want to pass on, I'd love to see it. (Also, if you're curious, my wishlist is linked to my profile.)

Of course, I have yet to visit Santa Marta's library, which I hear is pretty good. Maybe I'll make it there this weekend...I'll definitely be posting about it when I do.