It was the playlist that did me in, the playlist on youtube I had created.
Xandra Garsem, a young argentine youtube singer, and her spanish songs. It was the memory of love, a love I have had, a love that inspires me to love even now. Even now, I have what superstitous chinese people call 'peach-blossom luck'. More often than not, there is one random guy besotted with me and it does not help that I am situated in a building full of young males from all over the globe. At any given time you can see all sorts of rakish looking, fashionably dressed men in that warehouse looking building. It does not help that I really don't expect anything from these men, some so fresh-faced I would like to adopt them as sons.
I am on a long trip, possibly the farthest I've ever been in my life, and possibly the last, this year, unless by some miracle I have the funds to travel again, and also the opportune moment to have 'leave approved' in my two-month old new job. 'Leave Approved By Manager' emails are possibly the most joyful ones in my inbox, lately the others are CVs from people from all over the region flocking to this island, looking for jobs the way every male in every country used to do in times of economic depression, travel up and down the coast until they landed something, sailing, picking cherries, whatever. These days it's the IT consultants role that don't really care about the color of your skin or the language you speak, mostly, as long as you can speak in C++, PHP, CSS...et cetera.
I don't really understand Spanish, nor Czech, nor all the other languages I've tried to learn from the travelers I've met, and the travels I've been on. A smattering of Japanese, in our schooldays we were all crazy about J-pop and the crazier ones kept at it and became really fluent. A little bit of local languages, some Malay, Indonesian, enough to ask for directions or order food politely. A little Thai; because, Thai is not that difficult to learn by ear.
I know how to count in Polish one to ten and through listening, can tell which Eastern European language a person is speaking, Russian, Polish, or Czech. I learnt a hungarian tongue twister and a norwegian one; of which I can still remember the nuances of. These people still remember me fondly because I am a part of their travel memories, one which they had saved up for months before to travel halfway round the world for, before the rest of their lives went on - going into military (Norwegian), doing further studies (Polish), graduating and starting their longtime career (German/just about everyone else).
In the playlist I had created almost 6 months ago, there were spanish songs covered by the lovely Xandra.
She sung of love and loss and desolation, mournful tunes to her spanish (argentine) guitar. To this effect, Chinese pop songs are totally similar to spanish 'classics'. Lately it seems to be the trend to have a rapper 'rapping', interposed, in both Spanish and Chinese songs, at some juncture where you least expect it. I have to admit I felt sorrowful, and I felt bad being so, because I knew that the love I had at that point in my timeline was something almost forbidden, for many reasons neither of us were able to talk about it, me being at a really low time in my life, he being the strong and silent type, and we both provided each other with some sort of comfort at the very least, at least, I hope I did. The sorrowful part was that we were just not meant to be, the kind of love you needed at that point but almost immediately realized that we were just not on each other's roadmap. It's a painful, hard truth, to realize that, because in every woman's heart lies the desire not just to have fun but also to be accepted on so many levels, and we had only the most positive of things for each other, not fraught with the negativities that sometimes come from loving a damaged soul. And truth be told, we would both have hated each other had we ended up as lifelong partners.
But also, it was not just a fling or something we did not take seriously, and I think the best part of it is that I would always remember the part where we just treated each other with utmost concern. To this day I tell him every trip - as he is a workaholic he would never have traveled like I did, or could travel the way I did, in essence, when I am coming home, crossing the border, I would text him and he would always say welcome back with enthusiasm, my homeboy.
Sometimes you think about the way things are, and how you managed it, you think about the goals people tell you about and wondered if they managed to achieve it one year later. And how would we know, if they never wrote it down or blasted it out on some social media? Perhaps writing helps, them to hope that there is someone who remembers, someone with an elephant memory who remembers you said you wanted to do this, you wanted to finish this, and now you are in the midst of completing your journey, taking photos of the journey to immortalize it like a happy tropical travel memory; not knowing that because I cared, I still look for you and inspite of circumstances hope that you are happy.
And for me, it's almost 400 days since I started this journey that changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I am thankful because despite your troubles, I remember that you are going to change my life forever, and I would still choose it to happen exactly the way it had.