Tulia Gonzalez Posts

June 29 / Creative Challange

{Day 10 of 30}

No, is not what you imagine …  Standing in front of a group of 40 old ladies in an old house drinking tea. And in terms of Taumarunui, little town in the mountains of New Zealand … this is a Women’s Club.  Today they gather to listen the talk of a Mexican who came for some sort of coincidences … I wonder if this is only in appearance and there are more mysterious reasons behind this meeting of so many old ladies …  maybe they make secret plannings to invade the village with pastries , planting flowers in the corners, or exchanging all plastic tablecloths of the-only- coffee-shop for colored embroidery … maybe even they could be organizing an annual meeting to exchange secret recipes. Or it could even end by me turned into a white little mouse at the end of lunch like in that witches movie.

With all that… I still came. Half an hour before a lady came home to pick me up; I took a quick shower and look for something almost- decent to dress: a formal shirt, belt, pants and shoes… all black and gray. And I even dared to wonder if I would be “over dressed up”? The old ladies seem to have taken out their jewels and dresses (at least 20 years old). One day a week the Women’s Club gives them an excuse to spruce up … But,

What do a group of elder ladies from New Zealand want to know about me??

As I entered the room a delicious smell of food filled me up. They served a pumpkin cream and pastries … everyone talked about his own recipe with more or less pepper but all agreed that they would not even have to do the dishes.

Mrs. Ruth sitting next to me, the only black hair woman since all the others has whites and fluffy like clouds in this country. The “chicken” of  74 years of group dressed in a long black skirt and boots … four or five earrings in each ear and has a form of juvenile talk, “Hey darling, so you better come and sit right here”. Intense blue-gray eyes…

-Dear, do you have already a husband? She asked.
– No, I tell them. Everybody laughing.
– You better enjoy now that you are free my dear… all of them say.
– I do not know if I’m going to marry…
– So you will see if you meet the right one 😉
– Hmm … (roll eyes) … no, I do not know. I say laughing – and not knowing is perhaps worse than saying no, because if a woman says “no” is “yes” and “yes” is often “no” … but if I say “do not know” … More laughter in table.
– Dear you’ll have to speak laud in your presentation here because half are almost deaf. Are you nervous about public speaking?
-Nothing at all, I say. I think it would be easier to be nervous when you take it personal or you want to give an impression of something. At this point I do not care to give any impression more than what comes in the moment.  And of course I don’t prepare a single word beforehand.

I get up, I get to the front – the stories with scripts and orders left behind, there is a spontaneity in this…  the angles, spaces, and words are now different every time. Different tales of the same one thing. Then I flew until the table in the house of my grandmother picking the smells, spices, and the view from the window and to even her… and bring them all to the living room in this old house where elderly kiwis – a hundred thousand miles from Mexico – can meet my grandmother Rosa.

In Mexico we eat at three in the afternoon! Not like in NZ having dinner as the main course … seems funny to them … hence it follows a river of curious things … until the day of the dead I say in Mexico is a colorful day (and my mind goes for a second the idea of touching a sensitive issue as how much they think about death in this age? almost want to ask them but just forget the issue in the next minute …

club de mujeres

-How are the houses?  Does your family drive a car?
-What language is spoken?
-Is New Mexico part of Mexico?
-How are the weddings?
-How many children people have?
-What about the elderly?
-Then you come from a rich family? (Many laughs after this lol! Not rich financially at least I tell)

-How did you get here? How do you cook on a boat? Did you were afraid to go with a stranger?

I tell them a bit about the “whys” and “hows” of traveling slowly, something about sailing and taking care of homes … but what really arises here is when I say:  the real reason I can travel in this way is for the trust . Trust among strangers. Several of them look at me with eyes of proud mom, I laugh … Finally hugs and good wishes of many of them …  There are these things that I get into it … and I sleep early because tomorrow they want to take me to the exercises group…  


What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

June 25 / My Sailing Logbook

Sailing logbook

2/17/2013
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, México 2013

The first “sailing experience” is over. I came to the coast to spend those two weeks learning to sail. Rather of learning how to handle the sails, these days have been about recognizing the exact strength and wind direction as a skill that begins to develop in me. I have seen whales swimming alongside the boat:  Looking with big eyes out of the water and breathing hard. Now I swim to the coast as a natural pace, like someone that is going to do groceries in corner’s store  and back. A little universe apart … but not free of “rules” but rather an exchange of them, another way of living.

Before stepping foot on the ground back and write another farewell, I made a final announcement on the radio. I was saying my lines as usual “Hi, I am Tulia… 26 years old … blah blah blah … Nursing … languages … and I am looking for a boat going to  South America…  – then Pablo interrupts me – Say you go to the South Pacific as well, as is the season! – Then I add to this ad: … going to South America or South Pacific. I say it casual, like adding just one more detail.  I don’t even think what that can brings neither I think my first trip will be to a remote island.

Being off the boat it feels like freedom. Which is funny because the boat itself seems synonymous of freedom but it is easy to forget that life aboard is not free of certain tasks: cooking, cleaning, repairs and stuff. Also there is something very different and is the sharing of-almost-all personal spaces, time, meals, planning, etc. Everything is done together: one can’t disappear of the view as easy … I haven’t realized that kind of “enclosure” until I jumped out to land with my backpack. Now I have some thoughts about it…. I do not  know if I’ll be able to do it for a long time… but there is only one way to find out…

The boat hitchhikers

I got to Aly’s home; she is such a cute girl!  She arrived by boat from San Francisco last year and her roommate Mary Jo is also form the States … and ended up being the former crew of Pablo. I meet them trough Couchsurfing and there are other guys staying as well. All travelers in search for a crew position on a boat: Oogie from Israel, Rasmus from Germany, and Mark from Canada. Nobody knows anything for sure, just the idea of going sailing although there is lightness: if nothing happened other thing will came out. 

We are on the coast with backpacks ready; we make some ads on walls, others by radio, or making friends on the docks… going out to sail for the day. At night we gather to hang out, talk about boats and countries. Rasmus told me he left his career to come on this trip. Aly works in the Octopus Garden café and some days there she does a fire show. We laughed because I was the “Salsa teacher” (watching video tutorials on YouTube before, of course).

Aly and Mary Jo are already living in Mexico after their sailing trip. I do not wonder where the wind can take me; sure will be great whatever it is. And maybe like them I’ll get off the boat to live for a while in a foreign country… maybe even an island! Who knows? Today we dined, danced, laughed and that’s all I know.

New Zealand 2014

Two months after that meeting in Mexico we met on the island Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia. Everybody got on a boat and had very different experiences even if was the same destination… It was very magical to see their faces in the middle of nowhere-ocean… and once again realize how “small the world is” or rather say how “mysterious the world is”.

This post has made me to contact the guys, because we never “add us on Facebook” till now. We were sailing into the ocean and islands and in those no-places Internet didn’t matter too much.
*Aly and Mary Jo are still living in Mexico.

 

*Oogie is now back in Israel after sailing to Fiji.

*Rasmus flew  from Tahiti to the US  where he lives until this month. Then returns to Germany.

*Mark flew to Australia and then to New Zealand where he is living and working (and I just realized!).

.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

June 24 / Creative Challange

{Day 9 of 30}

Since she arrived I’ve spending days in a  country with no name.  I was going to the library. I woke up late, I said to myself  I’ll get that book of Maori poetry today…  Checking my email -a message – “I’m in the library right now.” I think I was going anyways,  and maybe I could had found her with her backpack waiting  -without knowing – for someone that was going to meet  her -without knowing-.  Do we would have recognized each other? I think so, because secretly we already knew our faces … so that happen when you have a friend in common and descriptions have already been made in advance.

This day I had completed a month living in a lost village in the mountains. Evenings by myself.  Walks in the river. Talks with the cows telling them not to eat so fast because I do not know how to open the next package of food … and the sheep that I already know by signs and sizes.  A life of small – everyday things.

Exploring  in a different way the  New Zealand forest.  A few days ago with the “boys” of the club, those oldies my friends. But this time, I was walking in the rain with two hands on one pocket to keep them warm…  furtive getaways between the trees till be founded by the dogs … we got lost on our way back, but as K says: when she feel lost is exactly when she is not. And the smell! the smell of this tree that I lean over and the sound of droplets seep through the leaves … I could close my eyes I tell you, and  go back home just following the smells… after rain are so crisp, so enlightened, so fresh.

And those pleasures went  accompanied by tremendous meals. This time carnivorous, steaks, ground beef, lamb sausage … and no apologizes cuz I prefer vegetarian food. I am being spoiled. Someone else cooking for you.  Someone turning on the fire at night.  The fire burning without having to take care of it. Abundant firewood without going to search for it.  This has its advantages I think lying on the carpet in front of the fire in her company, a strange intimate.

And while the world is talking about players and balls here the meaning of the World Cup would be Mexico vs. Ecuador on kiwi fields. “Goal” they may shout in the stadium tribune, here the cat is the only witness of this game, he turns the head to one side and the other as trying to understand. Laugh. While Ecuador is beating England (as reported by my neighbor Lynn), and Mexico plays Brazil (according to the guys in the Bingo club) here we did not know nothing but the soaked rain forest we breath trough.

Now I knew why M and I never saw that movie together. This afternoon winter we put it on:  – Room in Rome – with a Russian and Spanish speaking in Italian. I think we have the “tú” in common at least (which surprises me a bit). We then set our flag in this space. Island where we impose the Spanish whispered as the first language. Foreign geography where the maps are not necessary, territory without  passports, neither visa paperwork to cross the border. A country with no name.

Quiet but in effervescence. When there is clarity there is no need for any logic. I think I have lived for so long without logic. I tell you there was a realization and nothing attracts me enough from here, I could not be doing something different (and has nothing to do with the country or with living in a house with sheep) … I turned to look and you’re smiling, you understand, you say it’s beautiful -that’s why I opened the door in the first time – I think.

Living this way of creating deep connections in such a short time is a gift. And although we would like to retain the silhouettes – at the time – they are gone … as will the markers of the games of this year will be a vague trace of odor and countries. We go to the bus stop. I return alone after driving speeds and curves to bring in the –witness- cat and start my own fire. The house is complete.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.