Since I started working from home, and especially since some somewhat extensive recent travel to the U.S., my diet has come full-circle to American traditional foods. For the first time since I can remember, possibly for the first time ever in my life, I bought deli meats, for the purpose of making sandwiches, not European cold-cuts for a smorgasboard, and I have been making all kinds of salads– garden salads, caesar salads, kale salads, egg salads, potato salads, pasta salads, even chicken salads.
A lot of this is practicality. It’s stuff I can prepare in advance and have sitting in the fridge that doesn’t need to be heated up, and it’s fresh and healthy. But today, I realized I’ve also gotten into the habit of boiling water for tea in the morning, and then letting it sit and cool, so that I have a pitcher of iced tea with me all day. That there is not just about convenience.
I tie it to something I blurted out when I was in a stupid spat with my little sister, on a recent family vacation in Monterey, California. She was asking me if I know about some Mexican folklorical figure or another (she lived in Guadalajara briefly, studying medical Spanish at UDG, and also visited Morelos on a college trip about ten years ago). I don’t, but my response then and there crystalized some kind of nebulous thought that had been floating around my head since I moved to Mexico nearly five years ago: “Look, I immigrated as an adult. I’m as assimilated as I’ll get. I have more important things to do, like work.”
I was kind of surprised to hear myself say it, but I think it’s pretty much true. Aside from the old thing about people never losing their home country, I’m also of the mind that the US and Mexico are already really similar culturally, and we share so much history. As a gringa here I already feel like I have a place in Mexican society, without becoming more Mexican.
That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate that folklore is interesting, and probably one day I will run across some knowledge of it, but I’m not about to make a discipline out of taking in stuff like that. Not when there are so many other Mexican things in my alrededores like señoras and baptisms and tamales and high-interest rate credit cards that already have a practical effect on my life.