Saturday, April 11, 2009

Quetzalcoatl's Children

I don't think it is really socially acceptable for a Mexican lady to travel unaccompanied with male classmates for Spring Break. But I was not born a Mexican and early on in my exchange program I stopped trying to become one. The realization that I would never perfectly pronounce my r's or live at home until I was thirty liberated me in a lot of ways. So while my California compañeras enjoyed Semana Santa in Oaxaca or the city, I decided to set out on my own adventure with three friends from the Facultad de economía. The fact that they were all male was coincidental, but has its certain advantage in avoiding harassment from the general population.

The fact that I am white is also an interesting component. Seeing me with my friend Avicena, raised all his life in Mexico City, taxi drivers would start speaking to the both of us in English, figuring we were a foreign couple. A French girl at a bus station guessed that we were from Spain. Although the best way to some up the conversation came from my friend Igmar:

-Cortés arrived here around five hundred years ago, right?


-Then why do they still look at you as if they've never seen a white person before? Seriously, people stop what they're doing and stare.

While Mexico has its share of fair skinned natives, I am certainly no where close to blending in. But I think I'm OK with that.

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