A combination of Spanish noun mono and verb tocando, ‘Monocando’ is a word I invented as a child to refer to a human-size male monkey doll that sang while playing a music keyboard. I actually wanted to say “El mono está tocando” (The monkey is playing) but at that early age this sentence was too complicated for me. But wait, ‘a singing monkey doll’? Sounds crazy, I know. Although I was very imaginative, I cannot take credit. He really existed. This mono was the star of this fabulous place my parents used to take my siblings and me when we were kids. Sometimes, my cousins and friends also came along.
The place was huge with indoor playgrounds, different play equipment and a restaurant. What made it really special was the show. The singing monkey doll that impressed me, scared me, and fascinated me at the same time. I was hypnotised. And he never performed alone: he shared the stage with a band of other cool puppets. Among them, I remember a fashionable hen and a dog that looked like Disney’s Goofy. It was a time of pure bliss for all of us. A place to eat, play, dream, make friends, and sing along. My favourite place in the world!
I am blessed to say that my childhood memories are joyous ones. I had everything every child in the world should have: food, clothes, shoes, education, diversion, a family that loved me and that mono. Growing up in Guatemala, I was more than blessed. There, thousands and thousands of children grow up on their own, in the streets, alone. After 36 years of civil war, a dysfunctional family or no relatives at all is not uncommon. Neither is teenage pregnancy, child abuse, physical and psychological violence, rape and murder.
Needless to say all this happens all over the world. Tragedy knows no boundaries. But “Monocando” isn’t about despair, sorrow or loss.
Today, “Monocando” is that child within us. That child who has the courage and the will to smile and wonder, even through hard times. Because, I don’t know about you, but sometimes the adult I am gives up on me, and I find myself in need of my monocando to take me back on stage to that place I cherished so much.
Through this blog I wish to relive and tell you about all that made me happy during that precious time of development, discovery, diversion, awe, and carefreeness that we call childhood, but through the eyes and experience of an adult.
So to fully express all that crosses my mind and is worth sharing, I created six categories: Languages, where I talk about interesting facts about the languages I speak (Spanish, English, Italian) and that I’m currently learning (German); Opinions, where I give my personal opinion on different subject matters and anything else I might be dwelling on; Travel, where I tell about places I have visited for fun or for work; Shoes, where I share cool pictures of shoes I own or have seen other people wear; Short Stories, where I share short stories or poems I have written or excerpts from my favourite books; and, Food, where I share recipes of dishes I have prepared, pictures of food I have eaten at restaurants or that family or friends have prepared for me.
All sections are written in three languages. My languages. Spanish, which represents my childhood, my family, my native country; English, the one I use at work and that takes me back to school, Smith College and dear friendships; and, Italian because I lived in Italy for more than 8 years and because it’s the one I use everyday at home with my sweet Sicilian husband.
Curiosity is a must. Compartir es opcional. Monocando sei tu.
Monocando è un viaggio. Síganme los buenos! Are you ready to rumble?