Thursday, September 13, 2012

on gringo lane

Wednesday was gringo day.

Now, I know some of you dislike the term.  Thinking that is a slur.  Gringo, that is.

But no other word works.  It was not expatriate day.  It was my day to meet Americans who have decided to live their lives in Mexico -- mostly in Morelia.

A gringo group meets each month at a local golf club.  It is a nice place.  And they are nice people.  Any group who welcomes me into their midst as an equal partner on my first visit is made up of good folk.

There was no agenda.  We just shared tidbits of information and swapped some interesting lies.

Anyone who says gringos in Mexico are simply cookie cutter copies of each other has never sat down with a group similar to this.  And this one is not an exception.

Our diversity in politics, social background, and philosophy is as great as any group of Americans you would meet up north.  We wandered into the minefield of the War on Drugs and played out our various libertarian, Lyndon LaRouche, and establishment party fantasies -- all with good humor.

But that was not the end of my gringo day.  It was just the start.

I was off to Superama.  Think Whole Foods with limitations. 

I wandered out with two bags of snacks that I have seen only north of the border -- and two cases of Diet Lime Coke.  Anyone who knew me in my Oregon life knows how much that last acquisition means to me.  It may take the gringo day first place prize.

Or maybe my lunch at Subway will.  Could I get much more gringo?  Turkey breast on a whole wheat roll.

My last meeting of the day qualifies only as a partial gringo appointment.  Christina Potter of Mexico Cooks! was in Morelia and wanted to get together.  We have been reading each other's blogs for years and exchanging emails.  Christina has lived her long enough that her sensibilities are heavily weighted toward Mexico.

So, we arranged to meet at Restaurante Lu in the Hotel Casino -- one of her favorite places in town.  Our short drink turned into a two hour conversation about life in Mexico City, concerts, Michoacán cuisine, public transportation -- and faith (something that informs both of our lives).

By the time I started my two-mile hike back to the truck, Morelia had turned on its Independence Day face.

On Saturday night, the governor of Michoacán will stand on this balcony and deliver an updated version of el Grito -- Miguel Hidalgo's resounding call to kill the Spaniards.  That inconvenient phrase undoubtedly will not be included.

But, I have to ask, does anyone find those decorations just a little bit disturbing?  As if they were recycled from 1935 Berlin.

Or maybe they were re-sales from Cole Porter's bedroom. 

Just asking.  As one gringo to another.


John Calypso said...

Disturbing - not in the least.  Nice really!

Steve Cotton said...

Nice to know I am the only one seeing things that are not there.

DonCuevas said...

"I was off to Superama.  Think Whole Foods with limitations."

Yes, but Soriana at Plaza Morelia carries IBC Root Beer!

About the "1935 Berlin" decorations. No pasa nada. You should see the Mexican salute to the bandera nacional.

Saludos, Don Cuevas

Steve Cotton said...

I watched the colors ceremony in the plaza last week.  The goose steps and salutes were a bit eerie.  I know it is all very European, and up until World War Two, American school children used the Roman salute.  But it always feels a bit too imperial to me.

Andean said...

Subway--think I had it once in my gringa(not really one though) life. 
Diet Lime Coke--you hear something new everyday. Because of the lime, you could be exempt... 

Babs said...

Love the night time shot of the arches.  There is a Superama in Queretaro.  In past years, I used to drive over to get Pillsbury crescent roads in the cool refrigerated section.  I'm over that craving, thank goodness.  I found the Canadian bakery here years ago, much better.
Must confess I have never heard of Lime Coca Cola, nor  did I need to.....ha.

Babsofsanmiguel said...

Ooops, rolls, not roads, ha.

Gary Denness said...

I can see the similarities Steve, you're not alone. A little less green in the lighting and those decorations would have looked quite at home in Nuremberg.

Of course, as Mexico doesn't appear to currently have a beady eye set on Poland, and no tanks at the border, I'm gonna let this one slide and put it down to coincidence! :)

Steve Cotton said...

Or an odd homage to art deco-inspired socialist realism.

Steve Cotton said...

 Diet Lime Coke is nectar of the gods.

Steve Cotton said...

One taste of Diet Lime Coke and you would be a convert.  On the other hand, as things stand, it means more for me.

Thanks for the compliment on the aqueduct at night.  I liked it, as well.