I am Mexican; I am also American. I am both.

Last night I made some friends.  This Aussie girl named Tash.  Tash is 29 years old.  She lives a rather transient lifestyle.  She will go from place to place and stop in spots where she could make money working in the hospitality industry in whatever country she happens to be in, saves up quite a bit and then moves on and travels for months at a time again.  Last country she worked in was Canada and on her itinerary next is Oaxaca, Mexico; Bali, Indonesia (for a family reunion); then back home to Australia.

Matt is from Israel and I swear he has the most beautiful eyes you´ve ever seen.  He used to be a dancer and you could tell when you do yoga with him.  He´s from Israel and just got done with his mandatory military service there and is travelling a bit before going to medical school.  He is a darling and very sweet.

There are others…Amanda, the Londoner with a slight Cockney accent is hilarious.  Then there´s the cute, calm and reserved German boy whose name I don´t remember.  There´s Simon from Sweden who has red hair.  It´s almost like the U.N. in here.  Just listening to the lodge in the morning I hear a myriad of accents and languages: French, German, Israeli, Italian…  There are many people here from Spain, Argentina, Venezuela as well.

The crowd is primarily younger in their 20s and 30s but there are quite a few older couples here too.  Its so diverse and tolerant execept for one thing…

The lodge is circular and all around there are flags from different countries: India, Cuba, Jamaica, Canada, Mexico…all countries in North America are represented except for one.

“Whoa why are all the seagulls flying over here?” asks Tash as we lay out on the beach.
“Probably some stupid American is feeding them.” Replies Isha.
“Hey, guys, um…I´m an American…” I say laughing hysterically.
“Oh shit, sorry!” They reply.

It´s no biggie.  I get their sentiment.  I understand. Furthermore I´m on an island right outside of Cancun.  Cancun…the land where Americans come and drink until sunrise leaving their vomit on the streets for the Mexican people to clean it up.  Cancun, the land where Americans stay in one hotel the whole time and never leave.  Cancun…the land where Americans would rather swim in the pool than the ocean.  Cancun, the land where Americans come to wave around their dollars without even learning to say “thank you” or “please” in Spanish.

“You don´t seem American.  They generally stick out here like a sore thumb.” Says Amanda.  “I am here and therefore I am Mexican when I am on this land.  I´m also half Cuban but have not been there yet.” I reply. 

It´s funny, I don´t know who I have more in common with or whose company I prefer here: the women sitting outside of their artensenia shops or these new traveling friends I have made.  I don´t reply to the Mexican men on the street who speak to me in English pretending I don´t understand.  I am in Mexico, speak to me in Spanish…I am not one of them, I think to myself.

Yet, I am very American.  I am a patriot. My eyes gleam with pride when I start to describe Chicago, my home, my city. I love and respect our President and would be honored to serve him, if only in these moments, as a better ambassador and representative of our nation abroad.

Quick blog fact: This post is the blog´s 100th post. I read somewhere in the blogosphere that a blog isn´t considered serious until it at least has 100 posts. Here´s to being a serious blogger.

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