Today I want to confess my forever love for South America. I fell in love with this part of the world when I was about 16 years old and I first read “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I read it in a breath and I remember I didn’t know which character was which by the end of the novel but I desperately fell in love with the slow days, interrupted by lazy siestas, with the exotic food, with the superstitions, the customs, with the pasionate lovers and with the magic of Colombian village and family. I kept reading on Marquez’s amazing novels while discovering more and more great writers. Vargas Llosa and Isabel Allende stuck to my heart. Another beautiful surprise was the Mexican Laura Esquivel. Then the music made my love complete: Carlos Vives, Julieta Venegas, Shakira, Juanes and many many others.
When I was living in Toronto I made friends with a bunch of Mexicans. The Mexican food, the Mexican parties and the Mexican company made me feel like I was a Mexican on the inside. I learned Spanish in less than two months, as if Spanish was always hidden somewhere in a corner of my brain, just waiting to be activated.
I don’t know why I am so attracted to South – American culture. Maybe in another life I lived there. I don’t know any other way to explain why salsa beats make me smile, why few words of love in Spanish melt my heart, why I am so sure that over there, the sunlight is sort of orange and the plants are greener than over here.
I have never been to a country in South America. But I would move there tomorrow.
A Mariachi party in Toronto, on Mexico Day. And a very sensual song, here.