This is the last time I’ll keep boring you with news of my move. Moving is like jumping into cold water. You do get used to it.
Ultimately, the hardest part about moving is sifting through those things, the things you acquire unconsciously, the things you don’t even know you have until you are confronted with the sad reality of maybe not having them, and trying to rationalize what stays, what goes, and what little pieces of yourself, pieces you may not so readily recall in the future, you’re willing to let go of.
I have a large green plastic box I brought with me from the states some twelve years ago. It contains many old family photos, some of my 19th century forebears, lots of pictures of my kids growing up, my high school yearbook, my college and graduate degrees, a grade-school report card, my first Social Security card. There is even some artwork my ad agency produced for clients.
What is the value of such stuff—not only to me but to my kids who will have to sort through it all when I pass? I’ve been stymied with this problem for years and couldn’t face the huge number of decisions it would take to come to terms with all this junk from the past. So I moved with the whole box, and the decisions are still on hold.
What I had to adapt to right away was a new neighborhood, almost like a new culture in this city of Oaxaca. The old town, or Centro as it’s called, is the heart of the colonial city with its many shops, markets, and tourist hangouts. I’m on the edge of that in a little alleyway called Flavio Perez Gasga. It’s an unusually quiet part of town.
My old hood was in Colonia Reforma, just north of here and a more “modern” area where formerly the wealthy had moved to escape the clamor and indigence of the city. Reforma’s atmosphere is more like Mexico City’s, and even the food there is somewhat different. Here in Centro the cuisine is more traditional Oaxacan. There are more door-to-door services, different markets, different kinds of restaurants, a different spirit.
It’s only a mile away from where I used to live but, I’m tempted to say, a world away in ambience and character. I think I’ll like it—and God knows I’m too old to consider moving again.