05 April 2011

Déjà Vu Meets Codeswitching

There is always a moment when traveling where the real begins to blend with the surreal seamlessly. It could be that I've been reading too much Allende and that her magical realism is manifesting in my daily life, or it could be that the truly remarkable is beginning to happen here in Chile.

I have been having spells of Déjà Vu like never before in my life. Under normal circumstances these moments last anywhere from one to thirty seconds. Here in Patagonia, I've been cast adrift for hours at a time. Literally. The other night we had a dinner for the retirement of the school's former director and I was floating through the senstation of having always been here for over two hours.

Déjà Vu should be a bit of a rarity, yes? This is weird.

Last night we met a Japanese man who is working with the people who fish for and process sea urchins for export here in Puerto Natales. He bizzarely speaks perfect Peruvian Spanish, and pretty good English too. We sat around eating fresh, raw sea urchins and drinking mochilatas (beers with lemon juice and salt) having a conversation in three languages (my roommate speaks Japanese, too).

About halfway through, I mentioned that I might eventaully go for a PhD in Linguistics. He called a friend of his in Tokyo right that very second to introduce us, since she is doing exactly that. It was a sudden and mildly awkward networking moment, and at that point the triple-sided conversation picked up e pace to breakneck codeswitching (sometimes switching from English to Japanese or Spanish mid-sentence and then back again). It all devolved into language mush again.

And in that moment, the Déjà Vu showed up again. Making for multiple times in a day all weekend.

I wonder what it all means.

No comments:

Post a Comment