Recently I received a brand new agenda book, a Moleskine planner, from America. I was ecstatic. As I broke the plastic wrap, and cherished the smell and feel of something new, a pack of stickers fell out of the agenda book. I immediately started laughing as I looked at the stickers – colorful stickers to mark important dates in the months ahead: concert, cocktail, mountains, event, meeting, dinner, etc. My immediate thought was, “When will I ever use these?”
This planner definitely was not made for Cape Verde, or any developing country for that matter. I never know when events are actually going to take place. It’s always last minute or if it is planned, it’s at least two hours later than you thought. I never really know where the day will take me. I get up, prepare as best I can, and see what happens.
I don’t use a planner in this country to keep track of appointments. Rather, I use it to write down ideas, things I want to accomplish, with lots of question marks and uncertainties ahead. It makes me smile to think about marking a date weeks in advance with a sticker. It just doesn’t work that way here.
It’s funny how something as small as a planner reminds me of so many things I’ve forgotten about America. A neatly lined book, awaiting my stickers and appointments, is a world apart from surprise visitors yelling my name, three-hour late parades, or gathering with neighbors over a bowl of cachupa.
If I marked anything in a planner with a sticker it would probably be my once-a-week hair washing or scrubbing my feet. Oh vida.