The most compelling, relatable, language-barrier-crosser of any culture is its food. Ask someone if they speak Spanish and they may answer no. But ask them if they’d like an enchilada and they will most likely reply “chicken or beef?” People are multi-lingual without realizing it; linguini, croissant, schnitzel, ramen, kimchi.
As I walked this city’s streets I saw food vendor after food stall after restaurant of foods I love, foods my mom cooks, foods my mom used to cook when I was little, foods I can only find quite like this in this city’s streets. Memories recent and old were all stirred up in each sentimental, delicious bite.
“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.”
– Roman Payne You filled a void I didn’t know needed filling. You gave me sights that were new, tastes that are familiar, sounds of my mother. A known thing in a small context experienced in an enormity of surrounding and belonging.