Really I reread The Vortex for class, but it was a true pleasure. Now we will sing the first line: “Antes que me hubiera apasionado por mujer alguna, jugué mi corazón al azar y me lo ganó la Violencia.”
Familiarity begins at the airport where you identify your gate from far off because everyone has a cardboard box tied with rope, and is already dressed as they would dress at the destination. You leave at night and fly for hour upon hour, watching the map as you traverse almost half the globe.
The stamp in your passport is large and once you have it, you walk out to old fashioned smells of diesel fuel and leaded gasoline that give way as you ride out of town to earth and fresh cheese. People wear somber colors in one language and brightly embroidered clothes in another.
Although it is a primitive point of view I still think of flights south as going downwards, curving with the earth, entering a secret dimension as they pass the Equator, going home.