How does one return to the normalcy of "regular" life after four years of turpitude? Spilling blood, sweat and tears every day at work and partying like the proverbial rock star every night. Drinking all night, getting two hours of sleep and still being chipper at breakfast, talking to the parents of the children that will drive you insane as you sweat out vodka. How?
Who has the fortitude, testicular or otherwise, to let people know that it IS a real job. Say it loud and say it proud. You're on vacation, I'm not. Oh, and by the way, at your "real job", you won't work 6 days a week from 8 am until well past midnight. Yeah, the location is great, but the pay is awful and people like you make talking to the guests suck!
What replaces the raillery that you used to share with so many friends? One word could be shouted out and ten people knew exactly what you meant by just that one word. Soemtimes it wasn't even a word, but a look or a gesture. What happens at the office water cooler cannot replace what you've experienced. You're slowly dying inside because you can no longer shoot from the hip. Tongues are held because Big Brother (or Corporate America) is watching.
When do you fess up to the misinterpretation of another language? Do you hold on to it so that you can grab your dictionary later or do you just blurt it out? Do you giggle to yourself only to get busted? Are you sitting at dinner at a table where you're the only one who doesn't speak French but you still do your best to follow the conversation? Do you lean over to your acquaintance to ask what a particular word means that you keep hearing only to mispronounce it and blush to the roots of your soul when you find out what you've said? Do you want to, on this lovely summer evening, throw yourself off the terrace and onto the jagged rocks below when your acquaintance shares your mishap with the entire table (that includes his parents and aunt and uncle)? Do you finally know the difference between partout – the word being said that means 'everywhere' and partouse, which means ORGY?
Where else in the world will you find the congruency of people like you've met in the last four years? United Nations be damned, this is where people come together. Morocco, Columbia, Argentina, Mexico, Canada, France, Australia, Tunisia, the US. It just didn't matter. We all came together like some big-ass Transformer and formed GO Team and we were unstoppable. Unstoppable.
RIP Sandpiper. RIP Ixtapa (all three times). RIP Turks. RIP Crested. RIP Nabeul. Long live the memories.