The Wanderer Nice por Lina Peralta

Publicado en diciembre 2012 | Nice por Lina Peralta

117

Poco equipaje

Por Lina Peralta Casas

Entremares Magazine

Hace casi tres meses tuve el privilegio de reducir mi vida, nuevamente, a tres maletas. Toda mi vida. Lo que significó, por supuesto, decir adiós a personas, lugares y objetos que de una forma u otra habían llegado a darme un sentido de hogar en un país ya de por sí foráneo. Lo que significa, también, que tengo poco equipaje y una gran movilidad.

Hace cinco años salí de Bogotá para vivir en el extranjero. Por primera vez tuve la difícil tarea de escoger lo indispensable, armar tres maletas y dejar atrás el único lugar que conocía como hogar, que reconocía como propio y donde, a pesar de muchas dificultades, me sentía feliz. Hace algunos meses me encontraba otra vez ante una situación comparable, en este caso saliendo de Salt Lake City, Estados Unidos, donde después de un largo proceso de adaptación había logrado establecer una vida casi completa: amigos, trabajo, rutinas y actividades que me proporcionaban bienestar. Con la diferencia de que en esta ocasión dejaba atrás una ciudad, un idioma y una cultura que nunca dejaron de ser en cierta forma ajenos. Con la similitud de tener que enfrentarme una vez más con mis apegos. Con la complicación añadida de que esta vez viajaba a otro continente (destino a Francia), a cambiar otra vez de idioma y a sumar a la distancia física, respecto a mi país, mi familia y amigos, una mayor diferencia horaria.

Parte de este proceso de migración consiste para mí en evaluar logros, valores y proyecciones, y de cuestionarme por qué todo esto representa un privilegio. En mi caso, dejar amigos, colegas, libros y trabajo no es el resultado de un desplazamiento forzado, ni tiene por motivo una situación de violencia o desigualdad. Y eso de por sí constituye una gran fortuna. Tengo el privilegio de migrar en buenas condiciones, así como la oportunidad de explorar un nuevo espacio del mundo y de aprender otra vez a mutar y a adaptarme. Pero este privilegio viene con su precio: me encuentro nuevamente fuera de lugar.

Niza por Lina Peralta

Mi nuevo destino es Niza. Situada en la riviera francesa, “Nice, la belle” es una ciudad de contradicciones. Es pequeña (según estándares bogotanos), pero también “muy grande” (según estándares europeos). Está a pocos kilómetros de Grasse, ciudad famosa por su producción de exquisitos perfumes y por tener campos cultivados con flores de deliciosas fragancias. Esto quiere decir que está situada en una región que, según me habían dicho, estaba llena de placenteros olores. Sin embargo, el olor de los campos, de las flores y del mar queda absolutamente sepultado bajo el aroma del orín humano y las deposiciones caninas, en una ciudad sin baños públicos y sin parques para perros. Además, Niza hace parte del territorio francés sólamente desde 1860, y esto genera una mezcla interesante de tratos e interacciones en su población italo-francesa. Por otro lado, aquí el sistema social permite que todos los ciudadanos tengan excelente acceso a salud y educación y que la calidad de vida sea bastante buena para todos, incluyendo un montón de vacaciones y horarios semanales de tan sólo 35 horas. Al mismo tiempo, los salarios no son muy altos y la igualdad de condiciones hace difícil para muchos tener acceso a comodidades adicionales.

Las contradicciones no están solo en la ciudad, sino que hacen parte también de mis opiniones encontradas sobre la vida aquí. En Francia, por ejemplo, es una costumbre saludar y despedirse. Siempre. Antes de ordenar un café o de pagar el bus se dan los buenos días o las buenas noches, algo que encuentro maravilloso viniendo de un país (Estados Unidos) donde los invitados llegan a las fiestas y se van algunas horas después sin decirse hola y adiós. En Niza, por ejemplo, la vida transcurre despacio y los avances en los trámites de instalación son lentos, algo que me molesta bastante después de haberme acostumbrado a que en Salt Lake City nunca me demoraba más de 10 minutos haciendo cualquier trámite.

En medio de estas reflexiones, después de algunas semanas de adaptación a mi nueva ciudad, leí en un libro de un periodista español una pregunta que es probablemente de las más pertinentes que podemos hacernos los desubicados. El problema, como siempre, está en responderla: “¿Qué hace falta para sentirse como en casa cuando uno se establece en el extranjero?” Para el autor la respuesta era lo suficientemente simple: una lavandería y un barbero.

Me pregunto entonces: ¿Qué significa para cualquiera, migrante o no, desubicado o no, sentirse “como en casa”? ¿Una rutina? ¿Una red de amigos o de familiares que vivan cerca? ¿Un trabajo? ¿Una ocupación? ¿Una pareja?

La respuesta es interminable y se transforma con frecuencia, pero para mí tiene que ver con la adaptación a los hábitos, ritmos y costumbres de cada lugar, con la familiaridad con su gente y sus formas de interacción. Así que ahora, a pesar de estar bajo un cielo distinto, ajeno e irreconocible, puedo empezar a entender el silencio en otro idioma, a saludar con dos besos y a esperar a todo el grupo para empezar a comer. En fin, a identificar nuestros puntos de encuentro y de desencuentro. También me ayuda saber que mantengo la ventaja de tener poco equipaje y con ella el privilegio de una gran movilidad.



117 respuestas a Poco equipaje

  1. Rebecca Aho says:

    Even though I have never moved to another country, I have had to reestablish my home 10 times in different states and cities across the United States. Every move has been challenging in one way or another and with each one I have had to sacrifice but also have been blessed. Your beautiful writing reminds me of the experiences I have had and the many places I have called home over the years.

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    Linis, me encanta como escribes y como nos compartes tus experiencias, sobre todo en el momento de la vida en el q nos encontramos. Gracias por compartirnos tu forma de pensar y por plantearnos esa pregunta que nunca me he detenido a buscarle una respuesta. :)

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  • THE WANDERER

    Esta columna explora el tema del desplazamiento, “el fuera de lugar” en un mundo y una generación transglobal y transcultural.

    A column written by the staff or contributing columnists that delves into the concept of displacement. This column would not only be reflective but also observing of the idiosyncrasies of the places of displacement from which the writer is composing the column.