Splashing through Puddles

Believe it or not, and regardless what various Facebook posts might suggest to the contrary, some days on the road aren’t all peaches and cream. Sometimes it takes a bit of work.

Sometimes it means splashing through puddles.

Such was the case as I headed out into a grey misty drizzle for a solo, thirty minute slog across a soggy Cordoba—all in the name of getting a better glimpse of an AirBnB room we were considering switching to.

http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/puddle.jpgUnder ordinary circumstances, such a walk probably would’ve been greeted with a fair amount of lacklustre enthusiasm. But this was no ordinary morning as, compliments of a good video skype connection and a recently tech savvy father in law, I had a bit of extra pep in my step.

Yes, we’d just finished watching Queensland continue to spin its web of State of Origin dominance  with a nail biting 6-4 win over NSW (live streaming is so overrated) and, try as I might, I couldn’t refrain from wallowing in the decade long misery of grubs with names such as Bird and Gallen.

But barely one block into my wet trek, I quickly came to realize bulk of my breezy disposition–in the face of the sort of weather that would make any Pom immediately homesick–was owing to something else entirely.

Then it dawned on me: For only the second time in just a little under three month I was…

On my own.

On my own and, more to the point, child-free and unencumbered.

Within seconds of the realization, the years melted away and a sensation I vaguely remembered as wind blowing through my hair overtook me as I eagerly darted across intersections in varying states of precarious congestion.

In less than twenty minutes I found myself making progress that only the day before would have required most of the morning to achieve. And as I did, each step came quicker and more effortless.

A weight was literally off my back. And I intended to take advantage of every moment.

Soon I was darting in, out and around the dawdling zombies of oblivious text messengers, incapacitated seniors and sidewalk congesting neighbourhood chats as if they were little more than bright orange traffic cones set up for driving tests in a deserted parking lot.

So fast, in fact, I became self-conscience and made a concerted effort to slow down. To a speed that would split the difference between allowing me to both feel the wind beneath my wings while also not getting me mistaken for a purse snatcher fleeing the scene of a crime.

In the meantime, as Cordoba’s working class hustled a living around me along the open air market vibe of San Martin, I continued to hone in on my objective as the morning mist gave way to light drizzle. A drizzle that beaded off my bald dome like water rivulets on the windshield of a speeding car.

It hardly mattered and, with my morning inspection complete, I began to circle back at a pace that still had me giddy and tingly all over. As I did, an urge came over me. It was the urge to prolong the morning’s novel sensation.

That said, I soon found myself window shopping for electronic equipment I didn’t need, for food I wasn’t hungry for, and for clothes I had neither the desire or room in my pack for.

I took circuitous side streets I didn’t need (with the subconscious hope I’d get lost) and I struck up conversations with random strangers asking for directions to places I’d already been.

But, eventually, a voice in my head suggested, I’d had my hour and a half reprieve from fatherhood and that, other than accosting maroon clad strangers to discuss the finer points of the game they knew nothing about, I’d run out of time bludging options.

That said, I assumed the aire of someone who’d just taken one for the team before heading back inside where I found everyone right where I left them, warm and snuggled in bed reading a book.

“Daddy’s home,” came Kaia’s excited response as she rose up, took a few steps and jumped into my arms before instantly calling attention to the obvious fact that, yes, I was, if fact, pretty wet.

It would be followed by the kind words of my wife who dutifully looked in my direction and offered up a sympathetic question of her own in the form of “Well, how bad is it out there?”

I thought for the briefest of moments before grabbing a towel, wiping my face and mustering up the best battle weary expression I could, doing my best to guard against the slightest hint of a smile I knew would give me away.

But it was useless.

“Miserable,” came my reply through a grin the size of Queensland. “Absolutely miserable.”




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