I tell you, it wasn’t that long ago that, while traipsing about in Guatemala, I had the thought “wouldn’t it be cool to get a flat in a place like this, do my work time magic via laptop and wifi, and otherwise live and love like a local?” This vision came during the tender, early weeks of my Spanish language immersion, when words like “comer” (to eat) and “comprar” (to buy) were similar enough to confuse and thus prompt me to ask a cab driver if I could eat more pants in the city of Antigua.
How far I have come in the ten months since.
But let me pick up from our earlier cliffhanger before I wax too much nostalgic. I believe my words spoken shortly after that fine Piriapolis sunset were “Tracy, what do you say you and I share a fantastic life together…” (then a brief pause whilst I completed the fumbling about in my pocket to fish out the ring), “Will you marry me?” What followed I believe was a bemused and surprised chuckle followed by “Are you serious?” “Yep, totally”, I replied. Then she said yes, and possibly with an “Of course” thrown in for good measure (it’s worth mentioning that Tracy and I have been clear for one another on the whole “yep, you’re the one for me” sentiment since September, so I’m tickled that I managed to pull off the whole “surprise” element.)
The ring has a pretty blue topaz gemstone, nearly matching Tracy’s favorite color, a.k.a. “Tracy Lee blue”. Sorry DeBeers, I think I’ve found another answer to your riddle of how else could two months’ salary last forever: a few months worth of memories living abroad with my love. Tracy and I agree: that’s just more our style.
The process of leaving Buenos Aires was great. I spent the better part of the afternoon doing my favorite round of errands in my old neighborhood which gave the whole thing a nice “full circle” feeling: a visit to Antonio’s to pick up some more of those primo cherries (good enough to smuggle through customs undeclared–they would soon be in ma’ belly anyway), another haircut from Frederico (may as well look sharp for spending the holidays with my future in laws), and another steak from Roberto’s (thank goodness the hostel we stayed at but 2 blocks away from his stand had a communal kitchen).
My final day there I did one last round of what I call my Ninja Training (but you can call it a “work out”) in my beloved nearby plaza: a run around the perimeter and then about a dozen push ups (that may not sound impressive, but you try doing ’em with a cadence of 5 seconds down, and 5 seconds up). Add to that another round of sushi in the Japanese garden and one last stroll about the Recoleta fair with some Freddo helado (ice cream) to boot and you’ve got the fine makings of a fond fair well to the city that has treated me so well.
Now I sit in the living room of Tracy’s parents. I’m ready to celebrate Christmas (turns out it IS a treat to land smack in the middle of the holiday season!), I’m on the precipice of a groovy new adventure called creating a life in Denver with my gal (should be way easier–I get to use English this time!), and I’m delighted to have been congratulated and warmly welcomed by Tracy’s family. There’s nowhere I’d rather be. I offer my heartfelt thanks to all who gave me support and encouragement to live out this dream–especially Tracy, who, by virtue of frankly asking me back in June what I could possibly be waiting for, seems to have devised the most perfect and seamless plan EVER to uproot me from St. Louis and smuggle me to Denver.
Darling, you’re absolutely brilliant.