Since I'm half-baked at the moment (my favorite B&J froyo), I figure that I can dedicate a blog title to the great, late rapper Tupac Shakur, who was a visionary, who sought change, and died trying. But he didn't change his lifestyle enough and was eventually gunned down after getting involved in the east/west hip-hop gang wars. I suppose Tupac was named after the last Peruvian Inca Tupac Amaru, who resisted change until the end and eventually succumbed to the Spanish conquistadors, who tied each of his limbs to a horse, and then unleashed the horses, who tore his body literally apart in front of the remnants of the Incan empire in their capital city of Cusco. Visuals aside, both Tupacs resisted the change that was necessary to survive.
Although not quite so extreme, there's gonna be some change in my life to come, and regardless of the outcome, there will be a car involved, and I will be a "drivah". I spent the last four days of last week up in Massachusetts with my mom, sister, and wife and became reacquainted with relatives, checked out some of the tourist hot-spots in the state and region, and spent some time in a great city and it's charming residential areas. I thought I had a rough sketch of my future residence in California, but Boston wooed me with it's perfect weather, it's urban and academic atmosphere, it's houses with marvelous and historic character, it's New England charm, and so many wonderful distant relatives of mine. I'm not sure if I can say that this has thrown a wrench in my plans, but it is an intriguing option that appealed to both of us. Of course, ask me in six weeks when it starts snowing there, and things can change in a hurry!
I'm at a cross-roads in my family life, and things are just not falling into place perfectly. But can they? I'm not so sure they can. No matter where I end up, I will miss everything that New York City offers. I've been saying for a while, why stay here when I can't enjoy everything it has on offer? But we do enjoy so much of what it offers with it's melting pot (or at least a salad!) environment that I take for granted until I visit somewhere that doesn't offer that to the same degree (like Boston). Public transportation is the best thing ever invented, but in seven months it's going to turn into a huge pain in the ass.
And where do I go from here? Just today I had a conversation with someone who had moved recently and whose children missed their old neighborhood, it's shopping centers, it's bread (??), and other things like that. It seems so easy just to pack it up and move out to California, but things will be so different there! We will miss walking to the grocery store and being able to buy almost any ingredient that we want. We will miss having every clothing store in existence a mere 30 minute subway ride away. Of course, we will have family there, which is a huge, huge bonus that can't be measured. What about moving to Boston? We would be in a charming environment, have to deal with snow and more of the same weather that we deal with now, and uncertainty as to whether family bonds could be established after thirty three years of neglect. But at least the option is there and we could settle into something and establish a home that would be our own. And then there is always international destinations like Peru, where we would have countless family members, certain employment for Erika, fresh fruit, vegetables, and all types of food from neighborhood markets. The language issue and the culture change wouldn't bother me too much, but I wouldn't know too many people (which Erika has had to deal with here as well!), my profession would most likely have to change, and I would need to deal with the crime and pollution that Lima offers. We could even stay more or less local and relocate to Long Island or (gasp!) dirty Jersey. We would be able to maintain some form of relationship with our current environment and our friends, but we know absolutely nobody in those outer regions and would be just as far (or farther) from our family then we are now! So, there is no perfect scenario, but what is certain is that there will be change in store in the future.
On the other fronts, it seems like Erika is progressively getting better and starting to feel human again, though it could change at any moment! I've been delving into my local libraries and reading some great books, such as "Born to Run", "Freakonomics", "Shadow of the Wind" (a good read before and after Barcelona!), "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman", and a few others that I've already forgotten. The idea of getting an eReader is becoming more appealing to me, especially as I've discovered that I can actually check out eBooks from the library. One of my biggest issues with the eReaders is that I don't want to have to buy books. I don't buy them now, I'm never going to read them again most likely, so why should I pay $10 for a book? But if libraries, an tax-paid-for asset that many people don't take advantage of enough I think, can rent me a book for a Nook (sorry Kindle and iPad fans), that has some appeal. Of course, I don't really have an issue with carrying a book now, so I really don't see any reason to buy an eReader in the first place! But it would be nice for trips.
J. Riley, I have to admit defeat - I most likely won't finish Barcelona and Germany! Maybe I'll publish some cliff notes!