Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finding our selfish identity again

"The lift vans are here!!! The lift vans are here!!"  

My brother Iilya yelled this from the front yard. The lift vans were finally here... After 10 months of borrowing from everyone, we were getting our own identities back.


The lift vans held our furniture, our clothes, our books. Everything a child finds 'familiar' was packed away in those vans. After 10 months of moving around, going to 4 different schools, wearing cousins' clothing, living in strange houses, our own lives were returning to us.

Our lift vans left from our home in Argentina in December. They arrived at our flat in Delhi in September. Two of the months were spent in 'customs' in Bombay. Four of the months were spent being transported by water-buffalo cart from Bombay to Delhi.

How do they move the vans? One step at a time, along dirt roads and paved roads. Where do they stop to eat? Where do the men and the oxen sleep at night? How can this be the 20th century? I wondered all this and worried for the water buffaloes and for the men.

But once the vans were unloaded, I selfishly crawled back into my identity. My books were back... my troll dolls were mine again! My desk, with the lamp attached to the back and curved to the front, was all mine. The drawers could once again be filled with my pens and notebooks. Even my leather Argentine bookbag was unpacked. MINE!

At night I worried for the men and the beasts. I still do...

(all photos enlarge for better viewing)

13 comments:

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

What a life you have led, Brenda!

With regard to the Berner, we are flying by the seat of our pants. Plan??? HA!!! I have to buy a vehicle to get back east before I can even make a plan. That's not an easy task from dirtville. I can call about a car or RV and then by the time I travel a minumum of 50 miles its been sold. It's been pretty frustrating.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm starting to get the feeling, that there's much I don't know about you...
great post, life is different in the 3rd world, that's for sure.

Tricia said...

My goodness, that must have been an ordeal! Glad things are getting back to normal for you!

tom sullivan said...

"MINE" appears to be a necessary stage in human development. I don't believe it should be denied to children.

BANJO52 said...

I keep trying to persuade myself that, if we try, we can make ourselves from within, that our stuff or our uniforms or our neighborhoods do not, cannot, shape or define us any more than we let them. That's one more way I'm an idiot.

BANJO52 said...

P.S. That girl is one cute youngun. Is that you?

altadenahiker said...

To echo Banjo, is that beautiful girl you?

Do you remember the first thing you searched for? As a species, we're fairly portable, but some things are essential.

WV: Blessel. Hybrid of blessed vessel.

Sam said...

You don't really think about other places being different from ours until you read a post like this. Thank you!

Sam

Whitemist said...

Wow!
That was a journey and it is good that you still think of the others who brought these things to you!

Thérèse said...

Moves have never been easy for kids, neither for certain adults. But what is behind the movers, whoever they are, it's another world!
A great way to refresh one of the chapters of your life!

Brenda's Arizona said...

Wow, thank you everyone for your kind comments!
Banjomyn and AH, yes, that is me and Iilya in the photo. Iilya was always a 'hat wearing' kinda guy, so we call this his "Bing Crosby phase."

What did I look for first in the unpacking? I think my school book bag. It had always been a part of my schooling, and suddenly it wasn't. I long for the routine of using it again.

Therese, you are right, moves can be hard. It is funny how few times the move actually felt hard until... and this move was very very difficult on my mother. She was overwhelmed by the poverty and the caste system and the roles everyone had to play. We lived there long enough that it 'hardened' her heart, if that makes sense?

BANJO52 said...

"hardened her heart" makes so much sense to me that I'd love to hear you blog about it. Maybe it's too personal?

The Retired One said...

Amazing story and life you are leading!