As a Canadian living abroad I often find myself comparing Spain to Canada. It’s a tired, but irresistible conversation topic: I talk about what I like, what I miss and what I could live without.
Depending on my mood I might say I miss cheap blueberries, but hate the snow; other times I romanticize the snow and the cold and depict Canada as some kind of fantastic northern wonderland.
It is true that over the years my responses have become a bit superficial. I used to say things about the diversity, about social mobility, about the inarticulate nostalgia one will always have for their home. But I suppose that’s what happens after you have had a conversation with yourself and with others a hundred times: you start to say only a fraction of what you mean.
The other day I was listening to a couple argue. The woman would say one thing and the guy would say another and it sounded, to me, like they were having two separate conversations. Then, after more time went by I realized they were having a conversation that they had had so many times they had begun to omit lines. There were pages of subtext borne of years of repetition.
At first, I felt a bit sad about it. I dwelled on their inability to have a proper conversation, about how stuck they seemed. But the more I listened the more I came to a different conclusion: I wanted to get up and tell them how incredibly intimate the conversation they were having was. It was a conversation so intimate it was insensible to the outside world. It was an indication not of how far apart they were but how unwittingly close.
Somehow, that made me smile.
A few days ago I got off the plane, was hit by a blast of -20 cold and thought: ah, Canada. I’m going to buy a box of cheap blueberries.
Hi. My name is Danial Lalji. Yes. It's spelled with an "a" instead of an "e". Soccer is life.
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