From Saipan, With Love

I didn’t use the internet a lot except when I was home and on the wifi at home and I was never home. My days were packed with meeting people, eating lunch, shocking my mother, and soaking in the beauty of being home. I used my phone to take photos and check facebook, but I was disconnected for the majority of my trip and I loved it.

I loved it. I loved it so much. So so so much.

Some various points of awesomeness:

– Only a fraction of my clothing was weather-appropriate. I brought jeans and 3/4-length shirts when I should have only packed a coconut bra and a pink skort from Baby Gap. I went to one store and said to the nice Asian woman, “I’m looking for shorts. Sexy ones!” So she would hand me pants, each one remarking, “Sexy!” And it was true.

I went through several pairs and came away with three sexy options. The one my mom absolutely HATED the one that had a frayed cut out right over the pocket hole so all that was keeping a circle of my upper leg from showing was a thin piece of cotton and whatever change I had. But I couldn’t have too much change or the pockets would hang below the fabric in big bulge. Not sexy. My mom threw away these pants before I had a chance to fully photograph myself in them or make make back the $7 I spent on them, which wouldn’t take long at all. Put me on a busy street corner and I could charge $7 if you want to pretend it’s your birthday. Though I’m very much like Liz Lemon: “You wanna party? It’s $500 for kissing, $10,000 for snuggling. END OF LIST.”

– I loved the sounds. Outside my house, I could only hear the rare engine roar of a passing car or roosters crowing or the time marked only by the Mount Carmel Cathedral bells and the high school dismissal bell. And my heart shattering from being away from home this long.

– THUMB MASSAGE is a real name of a massage parlor. There were so many massage parlors with funny names like BIG BENG BANG! It sounds like the cover of a Chinese knock-off DVD: “THE BIG BENG BANG THEORY” I loved this place called THUMB MASSAGE just because that is so specific. Specific to married people WHO KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

-I was never alone. I grew up with so much family around me. Despite having absolutely no privacy whatsoever, I loved walking out of my room and knowing I would see one of my lovely family members because I need help in finding my son, wherever he waddled off.

-I loved being around my sisters. When I was little, I would stare at them during mass because they wouldn’t stop whispering to each other. Then they would look at me and say, “We’ll tell you about it in 10 years.” I did try to redeem that offer, but by then I was already folded into the conversations, not kept on the end of the pew so I wouldn’t report back to mom.

It’s taken longer than I thought to adjust to my non-Saipan life, a life that is not filled with driving with a beach view out the window or drinking beer on the beach or people saying, “MONA YOU ARE SO WHITE.” I’m a little sad about how far I live away from Saipan, but I know that only a few expensive flights across the Pacific Ocean will take me to a small island and on that small island there is a house with a door that will swing open for me and my family and I will always be able to step inside and many faces who live there will welcome me home.

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Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    I am soooo jealous of you right now. Saipan looks BEAUTIFUL and I now have another place added to my “Must visit one day” list. I’m also every single shade of green with envy over how amazing you look! As to the “thumb massage” I know exactly what you are talking about. If it’s not a massage that involves my husband drilling one finger, or thumb, into my flesh(or spine), it’s a pathetic squeeze here or there that generally leaves me in even more pain than I was before the “massage” started. I lived right on the east coast until I was 27 and since then I’ve been stuck living in Germany and now South Dakota. I missthe sounds of waves crashing, the smell of salt in the air, the cry of seagulls and most of all, my family. I haven’t spent a single holiday with them since 2007 šŸ™ I hope your trip was everything you wanted and needed.

  2. nina mona,i really miss you when you came the first time i saw you.I hope you had a lot of fun when you came,and i’d wish you would stay longer.

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  1. […] in strollers way fancier than the ancient Graco that has survived abuse so far, including traveling almost 12K miles to Saipan. It’s so old it’s embarrassing, like I picked it up from a homeless person who had […]

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