It started off with something small, nothing that on a regular, normal day would have bothered me.
But today was not a regular day.
You see, the taxi drivers were trying to rip me off on the fare to get to the brousse station. I knew the normal fare is 2,000…THEY knew the normal fare is 2,000…and yet, taxi after taxi, they quote me at 3,000, 3,500, never dropping lower than 2,500.
And I know what you’re asking yourself right now.
"Tara, 500 Ariary is not that big of a deal. It translates to 25 cents in USD, calm down and just get in the taxi."
But it’s a point of pride, thank you very much!
After at least ten taxis that refuse to bargain with me, I just get in one for 2,500, muttering under my breath as I hop in that he doesn’t deserve my money, but I’ll give it to him anyway.
After an incident like this, I usually would have calmed down and “re-set” my Irish temper back down to a normal level.
But today, like I mentioned, was not a regular day.
During the taxi ride to the brousse station, I sat there and just STEWED. You know those days when everything is bothering you and it just piles up. Snowballing. One on top of the other.
I finally arrive at the brousse station and the normal scene ensues. I get out of the taxi and am immediately surrounded by ten guys pulling on my bag, trying to get me to ride with THEIR car so that they can fill up quicker and head out to their destination.
Well, one guy too many touched my arm this time.
I WHEEL around and fix him with my you-are-dead-to-me eyes and he immediately turned to stone, obviously.
I stalked off towards my usual brousse guys. At this point, I am completely, 100% oblivious to what people are saying to me. All I know is, my brousse has left without me and I’m near-hysterics at this point:
"YOU SAID YOU WOULD CALL ME WHEN MY BROUSSE WAS FILLED UP AND READY TO GO. AND NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW YOU ARE TELLING ME THAT MY BROUSSE ALREADY LEFTTTTTTTTT?!!"
As this interaction is taking place, I notice out of my peripheral vision just how many people are at the brousse station today. It is literally crawling with people (a brousse station, in case you didn’t know, is Dante’s 7th circle of hell. just so you know).
And now all my frustrations melt into one full-blown panic attack.
I simultaneously can’t breathe and start bawling at the same time.
I toss my bag up to the bag-loader and scramble into the nearly-empty car to wait. I have to physically make myself close my eyes and envision a happier, calmer place. And then I think of back home, and the tears flow even harder. At least at this point I can breathe again.
But seriously guys, home sickness at this point in the game? I’ve been living in this country for exactly 24 months at this point, how can I still be getting homesick? I’m here to tell you, it hits at surprising and random times.
Here’s my theory:
You know when you’re sitting there on your computer and suddenly realize that you have to pee? If you’re not in the middle of something, you get up and go to the bathroom. But if you’re busy, or trying to finish something, or don’t want to leave the latest episode of New Girl, you sit there and you hold it.
You hold in your pee.
And suddenly, because you now KNOW you need to pee, you have to go SO BADLY it’s almost unbearable. Maybe you do a little pee-dance, trying to hold it in as long as possible.
But how does this make any sense? It’s not like the urge to pee hit you all of a sudden. It crept up on you. Slowly. Until you realized that you would need to go to the bathroom right at that moment or pee your pants.
(Stay with me on this, it’s going somewhere, I swear.)
That’s what it’s like when going home to the States after two years in the Peace Corps. It’s like, you lived for two whole years away from home, and suddenly, one day, you realize that you’re REALLY going home in a month. You’re finally going to see family and friends that you haven’t physically hugged in the last 24 months.
You finally realized that you needed to pee. And all of a sudden, you need to pee NOW.
That’s where I’m at. I know I’m going home in a little under a month, and over the last two years I knew this day would come. But now it’s actually here.
Going home is so close I can almost TASTE it. I realized I was going home soon and all of a sudden, I need to go NOW…and the fact that I’m not doing that RIGHT THIS SECOND REALLY MAKES ME SO INCREDIBLY ANGRY.
My emotions are out of control. One minute I’m laughing, the next I’m crying.
The brousse station in Fianar got a lesson in dealing with a COSing Peace Corps Volunteer today, let me tell you. No one came up to talk to me for a solid hour and a half after my “episode.” I don’t even think anyone made eye contact with me…at least, until that creepy guy came up to my window and licked it…that pretty much broke the spell.
It’s just that I’m feeling so many things right now -
I’M IN A GLASS CAGE OF EMOTION! - and I don’t really know how to deal with it. It’s like going through puberty in high school, really. Learning how to deal with your new emotions.
So, bare with me over the next four weeks. It’s going to be a crazy emotional roller coaster. But it’s a win-win situation for you guys! You get the amazingly ridiculous/hilarious stories of my insanity without ACTUALLY having to experience any of it first-hand.
Great for you. Congratulations.
Now get out of my face before I punch you.
Until next time,