|A park in Porto Alegre|
Saturday, November 2, 2013
BACK TO THE ROOTS (SORT OF)
After spending 11 years in the US, I have just moved back to my hometown in Brazil with my wife and daughter. Some people said I was coming back to my roots. I was never too sure.
I think once an immigrant, always an immigrant. I was born and raised in the city of Porto Alegre, and now when walking or driving in its streets, talking to people, doing groceries, I see things that are extremely familiar, but foreign. It's a weird, hard to explain feeling, like being in a very vivid dream, that is real and surreal. I am home and I am not home.
My grandparents moved from Bessarabia/Moldova to Porto Alegre, and my grandfather constructed a building himself. Ironically I will be living in an apartment in this same old building, which has our last name on it (mispelled, by the way). And as life itself would have it, the first time we opened the mailbox there was a letter from the City Hall - directed to my grandfather!
Yes, the past is present in Porto Alegre, my own past, my childhood friends' and family's. And like my grandparents, I am an immigrant, but now an immigrant in my own town.