Unless a wave of inspiration knocks me over in the next twenty-four hours, this might have to be the last of the alliterated highlights from our trip to Mexico City. I already have a couple ideas for a writing-based post, but we'll see.
Tia means aunt, and not only did we get to visit with two of Ibis' aunts whom I adore, but I was referred to as Tia by several people who seem way too old to be calling me that. It's one thing when our four-year old nephew runs around saying "Tia, Tia, Tia" -- he only comes up to my hip. My "nieces and nephews" on this trip ranged from fourteen to twenty-seven! Fortunately the oldest just called me by my name.
Ibis's mother was the youngest of thirteen children so her siblings' children are somewhere between our age and that of our parents. It seems weird to be calling people I associate with my parents "cousins" and I found myself relating more to the younger generation. I guess that shows my immaturity, lol.
On the fourth day of our trip when the cousin we were staying with asked me my name for the hundredth time, it occurred to me that the youngins might have chosen to call me Tia because they couldn't pronounce my name. That I am used to here.
As you all know, I've been living in Mexico for well over two years, and in my time here I've had lots and lots (and lots) of traditional Mexican food. Molé, enchiladas, carne asada, tiritas, postres... you get the idea. Well for whatever reason, his family was under the impression that I've never eaten any of these things and they were all determined to introduce me to "traditional" Mexican cuisine.
The most common meal? Tacos.
Don't get me wrong. I love tacos. We eat them all the time. In fact, I was introduced to real tacos (meat, onion, cilantro -- nothing more) while still living in Chicago. I have nothing against tacos. But when we're in the capital of an entire country, surrounded by restaurants from all over the world -- most of which we don't have in Zihua -- I don't want tacos. At one point I even said to Ibis that is seemed like they were treating us like we were visiting from the US, not another part of Mexico. Oh well, I made pasta when we got home and the Thai will have to wait for another trip.
I think I've been surrounded by near-poverty for too long because I almost fell over every time we walked into another family member's home and were greeted by a 60+" flat screen tv. Often times there were three or four in each home. Wtf?
We have a nice flat screen in my parents' basement, waiting under a blanket for us to return. (Actually, I think my dad finally made good on his threat to hook it up, but it's still in the basement.) We've made do with our 13" television for so long that I had forgotten how lovely it is to sit on the couch and feel like you can reach out and touch the actors.
This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but I noticed it in each home, to the point that I started to wonder if they all went in and bought them in bulk or something. Can you do that with electronics?
In all seriousness, the best thing about this trip is I felt more like myself than I have in a very long time. No one stared at me, they just treated me like a normal person, even if I am lighter than everyone else and my eyes are blue. I didn't feel out of place and I truly enjoyed meeting my family. If I was disappointed about anything, it's that it took us two years to go visit.
The nephew that prompted this get-together is studying medicine in England and won't return to Mexico for another year and a half, so we're already talking about going back for that. He joked that we should all come to London in 2012 for the Olympics, so of course Ibis started inviting everyone to Chicago in 2016.
Only time will tell.