I didn’t think I’d be homesick for Madison so quickly. There is so much to love about our new life in Mexico, one month in–I am reminded of that as a neighbor practices his accordion outside my window in the electric air of Guadalajara’s rainy season, as a poblano chile casserole keeps me from needing yet another snack for this tadpole, as the palm tree rustles in my backyard, and as my family serenely goes about our evening life. But still, I am daily reminded of the snippets of home that I miss. Our friends and family, of course, go without saying. What surprises me are the pieces of Madison that leave me longing.
All week, we’d been anticipating Mexico’s gold-medal football match. When you are dismissed from faculty meetings on your first day back at school to watch a football game (Olympic semi-finals: Mexico v. Japan), you know you are in a country that is serious about its soccer. And when that match results in a football-crazed country’s first Olympic medal…and a GOLD no less…you wonder what insanity might await. How were the Mexicans going to celebrate this monumental victory? With an impromptu party in the streets, of course–complete with drumming, singing, flag waving, and capitalist verve.
While living in Mexico, I joked that speaking Spanish forced me to be far more Zen about life: Since I could only speak in the present tense, I was forced to just live in that present tense.
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