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.