Here is a tale--no, less a tale, more an anecdote of recent times:
Over Halloween weekend I went to several different parties, donning a big red sheet, a pillowcase over my head, and a little woven basket: a decent (and simple) Little Red Riding Hood costume (Caperucita Roja). I had a good time, being silly and hanging out with friends. But the best part? At one of the parties I was talking with some Colombian friends and decided that I wasn't going to speak English to anyone the rest of the night. I thought it would just be funny for a while, but that non-Spanish speakers would probably get annoyed with me and I'd have to stop. ;) And then something very fun happened! I began talking to random people...and they answered me in Spanish! So I made new friends. And then a friend introduced me to some Brazilian friends of his, so I tried out my rusty/poor Portuguese! And then one of my new friends switched to French, so I tried to follow suit, of course. It is very probable that I mixed up and/or invented some words and conjugations during this tri-lingual conversation...but it was entertaining beyond reasonable explanation. I left feeling giddy and elated--delighted with these short interactions. Just what was it that made those conversations so noteworthy for me? Have I simply been suffering from intercultural interaction withdrawal? Did it remind me of friends and adventures I had in Spain/Portugal? Was it simply a linguistic libido, a mere morphemic thrill?
Let us assume it was some combination of these possible explanations, and let us also assume
this has not been an isolated experience. What, then, do I do with this unsurprising revelation? I love languages and meeting people from other cultures.
It seems I should figure out a job/career which involves these things. Don't get me wrong, I've had this idea before. (You know, the whole getting-a-master's-degree-in-Translation-and-Interpreting, etc...but so far I've come up blank on that front.) My friend suggested I take the foreign service exam...maybe should. Also going to apply to be a program leader for various youth summer abroad programs. In the meantime, the days are getting shorter and colder, making me a restless little gypsy, all bundled up in her down comforter and dreaming of days not long gone: of sun and summer; dreaming of new adventures.