June 26, 2010 § 2 Comments
Today I overheard a friendly American speaking to a Mexican woman on the S-bahn. He had his mixed-Caucasian American face and his sun-loving American tan and with his clear but halting American Spanish explained that he’d be watching the game against Ghana tonight. He knew that she would be facing Argentina tomorrow.
The train scraped and screeched to a halt before they could talk too much, and he looked lost when it was time to patch together his goodbye. “Ten un buen dia,” he produced, more of a question than a wish. But his friendly American smile made his wish clear.
And then they both disembarked, the Mexican woman taking off down the cobblestones with a friend, the American setting off on his bike. All at once they were surrogate friends and I was homesick for our proximity to Mexico and the possibility of salsa at any meal. Between hunger and homesickness I was about ready to sniffle. In this land of Brot I miss maiz. I wanted to hear Spanish and eat frijoles over jasmine rice. And have chips with and hummus and guacamole.
Then we turned the corner, and hunger overrode the wistfulness. With the twilight still robin-egg blue above us, I realized that it was 9:30 and lunch was half a day behind me. I walked down the lane of cheap hostel food with some friends and we looked for something to eat. The heady spiced cloud of falafel and kebabs filled my nostrils as we passed a Turkish restaurant, and friends waved at us from the table of an Indian eatery. There were not one, but two Mexican taquerias nearby. We decided on sushi from a Japanese place and tofu from the Vietnamese shop next door.
With my 3-euro 50 platter of curry and jasmine rice, homesickness fled. Berlin is wonderful.
I still miss salsa, though.