It’s Christmas morning and for the first time in my experience of living here, there are no motorcycles zipping along noisily on the street in front of our building. Oh, if it were only this quiet the other 364 days of the year! Here, people are at work by seven and the buzzing of motors begins before dawn.
The sun is very bright, the temperature is quickly rising, but nobody is out walking. On Christmas morning people stay home with our families. If we don’t have families, we hide in our rooms. Here, they call a rented room a “piezza,” and sometimes usually they come with a shared bath and access to a minimal kitchen
I imagine the single people are lazing about their rooms, sipping terrere and scrolling through Facebook posts on their laptops. The parents of families are doing the same, while their children play and fight among themselves, systematically destroying their new Christmas presents.
For some reason, this Christmas morning I am reminded of my first plans for retiring in a third-world country. These were my dreams of five years ago. Even though I had no savings and not much income, I was planning on buying a coffee plantation in Nicaragua. Then I would be Don Daniel, riding on his white stallion, wearing riding boots and holding a riding crop and wearing an enormous straw hat. The workers would bow when they saw me and pretty women in colorful skirts would curtsey.
I am so glad none of that came to pass. Today, the idea of responsibility and being tied down to real estate of any kind makes my skin crawl.