Miami was not my favorite place. When it was just in my mind before I left Venezuela, I thought it was the best city ever. After dreaming about living here for such a long time, the dream came to life and reality revealed itself. I must confess that I was a bit disappointed.
I knew that there was something magnetic about Miami. It attracts people from all over the world, like pigeons in a park full of breadcrumbs. So many of us end up here looking for a tropical paradise full of beaches, beautiful people and flavorful rice and beans and pan con bistec. All that is here indeed but there is a dark side, darker than those tasty black beans served over white rice.
Traffic, corruption, rudeness, intolerance are rampant in Miami. You have to pray every time you decide to get into the car and drive to the supermarket and hope that some asshole does not run you over… but there is a reason they call Miami the “Magic City”.
The magic is all over. You do have to search for it though. Once you focus on the positive of this intriguing town, there is a lot to love about it.
Miami is a city full of incongruities and contradictions. It’s a melting pot of cultures yet still a salad where the ingredients don’t quite mesh.
It is a place where no matter where you are you will hear the rhythmic intonation of the Spanish language infused with habanero peppers, onions and tomatoes.
Salsa is not only something you eat with chips: you dance to it. The smell of the ocean is always close and so are the alligators in the lakes.
The Miami River runs from the Everglades and ends up in the Caribbean Sea. Ducks are everywhere, shitting on the sidewalk and making a bloody mess everywhere. I make a mess whenever I bite into a Cuban sandwich and the melted cheese ends up on my pants or even on my toes.
So I am learning to feel a little something, something for Miami, more than I ever thought I would.
Miami is home, where my children were born and grew up. They are happy, and that is all that counts.