28 October 2012

oh, man...

there's too much to tell you. i can't even begin. but let me try.

i've unpacked nearly eight thousand pounds of pretty and silliness we got delivered on a monday, and by a thursday somehow it all made perfect sense. the girlies three now describe our home as christmas, and i find them cozied up in a different spot every night. which is a gift to me, really. their happiness and contentedness.

for the record, there were eight italian plates and one flour canister and a few huge glass frames broken, but my disco ball arrived intact. so we're good.

at a dinner party the other night, someone complimented the placement of our dining room or the pictures on our wall or the embroidered floor pillows here and there, and pat's dark eyes sparked and that chandelier smile lillie kate inherited from him showed itself. she kills it turning our houses into homes, he said. and i thought to myself - as i moonwalked out of the room and out of the compliment - that here! here's a tangible skill! and phrew. 

i no longer panic about water and tsunamis and other nonsense. i panic about traffic. because if the girlies three are there and i am here, there is no way in hell i can get to them if there is traffic. which, in jakarta, is a given. there has always been and will always be traffic. i can't buy my way to them, i can't beg my way to them, i can't force my way to them no matter how hard i could ever try...and that. kills. me.

there are monkeys here dressed as baby dolls in jumpsuits and oakleys. as confusing as this may be to comprehend, it is just as difficult to unsee. same with people with missing parts - integral parts - who weave their way through the streets, asking for a few rupiah. i never carry cash, but i always yell at pat from the backseat to give them something! as if to order him to fix them! and he asks what do you want me to give them? in the same tone as kar, this is their life. there is nothing a few rupiah will do for them. 

as if i didn't know this already. but you just can't pass them by, can you?

it would be impossible to live here if you had a heart that breaks easily. so, you know...it's kind of impossible to live here. places like this - oh, man - they're the paper and the words and all those poems with the tragic endings.

the girlies three are growing up. and as difficult as this may be to comprehend, it is just as difficult to experience. i try to sit with them as often as i can, which keeps me away from this little space, but i know you understand. my choice is easy. and as long as they love telling me everything, i will soak up everything. i would drown in it if i could, and you know how hate getting my face wet.

okay, you. i have to go. there are three laptops blaring sia and ne-yo and eminem and dre (because lillie lives here) and i am chair dancing (because after a certain age, stop it) with you while pat creeps out grae with his best village people moves (see previous parenthetical). esmé and lillie are so in, though. it is nearly impossible to creep them out, which is why they are thriving here.

i kid. (i'm not.)

i'll catch you later. xoxo.

p.s. if you would like to hang with me daily, i'm on instagram. mackinink. most of my pictures are of esmé and monkeys and sometimes you can't even tell the difference. but still. we should follow each other and not lose touch.


And Kathleen said...

Okay... so how do I make this work / travel / living an expat life thing happen? And how can I give birth to rad kiddos like you have? Is there some sort of magic trick or a certain amount of willing that goes into that sort of thing? (These questions are not rhetorical).


Khali said...

I'm breathless. This post is a treasure, a pleasure to read.

Simply Mel {Reverie} said...

this starts my week off perfectly. fresh, insanely good words from you. oh happy day!

and i completely get the sitting with the girlies and soaking them up. i cannot get enough of my crumb. she makes my world sparkle and shine.

CMN said...

Oh {sigh}. Oh {bliss!}

So enjoyed catching up with you!! I've been visiting Delhi lately. A lot. And when I'm sitting in traffic that's practically impossible to describe (monkeys! cows! wild pigs! only 1 person on that motorcycle -- what were they thinking??), I think of you. I've been picking up souvenirs like mad. At last count there were 3 large carved wooden boxes, 25 carved wooden elephants and possibly 40 dupattas & silk scarves. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas? (I have no idea - that was all for me.)

In my daydreams, I'm stopping by Jakarta for a little visit on my route home. It's a nice imaginary break to drop by Chez Mackin and meet you all for (imaginary) real! Though I suspect my luggage might leave short a few elephants, I'm sure the girlies three would help me find something equally fascinating to replace them. {blissful sigh}

Wishing you the kind of day that is filled with sweet scents, glittering laughter, and sparkling eyes! And good chocolate (but that's a given, right).


tammy said...

your writing brings up so much emotion. thank you for sharing. my three little ones are now big ones. and your words help me remember those magical times of sitting with each and soaking up every. little. word. and thought. precious times. now i will go follow you on instagram to see those interesting photos you talk of!

Catherine Hansen Peart said...

I love your turn of phrase. 'Difficult to unsee'. Brilliant description. I have lived in two third world countries for awhile and have visited Jakarta to see my husband's family there so totally know what you mean (I have a heart that breaks easily too). One of the hardest things for me was to come face to face with the stark and harsh realisation that very often there is no happy ending (and no possibility of one) for so many. Makes me sound naive of course but I feel confident you will understand where I am coming from.