Sep 15, 2008


It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a weak mind is easily swayed and I mine was. I thought I should at least consider the possibility of moving to the U.S, after all any place was better place to live than my country at the moment. So I decided to stop acting childish and I did some research, I went online, and at the risk of insulting this beautiful nation I'll admit that if before I was disinterested, after researching I was appalled at the idea and as determined as my sister to go to Spain. But with my sister in Colombia finishing her last year of law school, keeping my mom's convictions of Spain was a little harder.

My dad ranted and complained but since the trip was so far away and my sister still in school I let him argue and pretended to listen when he presented the choice, nodding when he reminded us that my aunt and uncle were in Miami. Think of all the shopping! He would tell me, thinking back to that I wonder what kind of person I was then that a comment like that didn't bother me. I would nod and ignore him, knowing in my heart that Spain was waiting for us.

"Pack your things, you are going to Miami" My dad said to me Sunday April 21st of 2002. "Ooo, vacay!" I said excited. My mom shook her head. After September 11 the thought of having trained the terrorist who flew the planes into the Twin Towers was understandably too much for homeland security and new laws were applied. The new law, to be established April 30th 2002 would not allow tourist to stay in the country for more than 30 days, completely changing the costume of having your passport stamped in Florida allowing tourist to stay for 6 month if they chose to and also offered the chance to request a 6 month extension after the 1st 6 months have passed.

That gave my dear dad 8 days to stuff me in plane and send me to Miami to be able to get the 6 months stamp and the ability of request 6 more months before the law came into transition, which would roughly translate into a year here in the US to try to figure out how to keep me here legally. Yippee!! I was in a panic. "Do NOT get on that plane, no matter what" My sister said when I told her. Easier said than done. What was I supposed to do? "Why aren't you here?" I wanted to ask her? "Why are you leaving me to deal with this all alone!?" I was so weak I feel ashamed. I had been confident before in my power of persuasion, I had not even a trace of doubt that my dad would let go of his annoying U.S.A. campaigning once my sister, my mom and I were a united front against him. And my dad had never, EVER, once denied me something I wanted, but in a week? Eight days? What could I do when all I had was a mere 192 hours? My sister was away, my dad wouldn't answer her calls, my mom was divided by her promise of sticking together and what she thought was the best for me.

Sep 10, 2008


Most North Americans think we immigrants are all dying to get here. They don't seem to understand that for me, coming here was never a possibility, never a thought that crossed my mind. Leaving home was not something I had considered before and only Chavez and the beautiful promise of Spain (and Paris a train away) would make me consider leaving home.

If my sister hadn't been to Spain I doubt there was anything that would've convinced me to leave the country, as bad as it was I loved it, I loved home I still love home. I love the familiar smells and the places I knew how to get to, the mountains and the air they breathed in the valley, the chilly Christmases and the perfect weather, the baseball season and the passionate arguing it brought with it, the traffic laws that no one respected. Sigh.

Most people don't believe me or rather; refuse to believe me when I say that nothing about North America appealed to me. I wasn't intrigued by their people or the culture. Aside from an obsession with Disney movies and sit-coms I was totally and utterly indifferent to the country.

My brother was another case; he loved the US and had made New York City his home since January 2001. It is a testament of how little the US appealed to us that not even to remain together as a family did we consider moving here. North America was to me like leggings; I appreciate them on other people, but would never consider them for myself. If you had asked me then, about North America my first thought would've been McDonald's and my annoyance of the country having a "World Series" where only U.S. teams played.

Our move to Europe was far away still; we had settled for the end of summer for our departure and then decided to move it until after New Year’s, the thoughts of that first lonely Christmas at a foreign country way too scary. Unknown to me, however, my dear dad was having second thoughts about our new destination, we had no relatives or friends in Spain, and it was so far away, the time change so big and other silly reasons kept bothering him. Let me translate that for you, it was too expensive and he didn’t feel like paying for it (go ahead and call me ungrateful).

While I dreamed of my Italian count his evil mind plotted. When he finally voiced his concerns my sister was outraged by the idea. We were NOT going to the U.S. end of sentence, end of discussion, period.