Some odd months ago, I took an UBER from El Centro of Mexico City to my current apartment where I am at now.
Once I got here, I moved all of my stuff in obviously and left for a moment to go buy some food.
Roll the clock about a few hours and I was sitting down on the rooftop of the building with some other folks who happened to live in the same building.
Mostly young Mexican types with a few Venezuelans.
No other gringos from what I can remember.
Anyway, we all got drinking some liquor.
One Mexican guy wanted to go by an OXXO to buy some liquor.
He bought a bottle for a group and I bought one also.
In this case, I opted for a bottle of Oso Negro – which is probably the cheapest vodka you can find in Mexico at about 5 bucks a bottle.
It has a reputation of tasting like shit but I think it tastes fine.
Granted, I’m use to the taste.
Anyway, the guy (whose name was Vicente) was surprised and found it funny I mix vodka with black tea.
He never heard of the combination before even though some people do mix the stuff together.
I think it tastes good but I digress.
Either way, it was funny pouring him a bit to see his reaction to it.
One of those cases where you can see his face go completely crunched up as he takes his first bit and you can tell he absolutely hated the taste.
But being polite he shook his head and went “no, no, esta bien. Me gusta….no te preocupes.”
Got to give Mexicans that one – usually they’re polite enough in that they will suffer whatever drink from hell you made them so as to not be rude.
Anyway, as we’re sitting on the rooftop again drinking away and listening to music…
Latin music mostly from salsa to cumbia….
Music like this video here below of "barrio kumbia."
And, truthfully, I had a pretty good time.
Some cute Venezuelan chick was dancing away with some other guy putting on a show of how to dance to some particular type of Venezuelan music.
Making funny jokes about how she doesn’t look stereotypically Venezuelan either…
As she recounts how there is a stereotype of what Venezuelans look like..
Similar to Colombians, Dominicans, Brazilians…
“Big tits!” she laughed as she clearly didn’t have much on her chest.
Among other jokes thrown out and the night going on…
I had a good time.
Now it doesn’t seem like much.
Just a random night of people dancing to music and cracking some jokes to some drinks.
What more is there?
Sure, it is a relatively tame story.
But the point that it illustrates is something I talked about before in other articles...
Engaging in the Culture
As I wrote in this article here…
There comes moments where you miss “normal moments” of life back home.
Being the foreigner in another country, life isn’t just running around from club to club and always trying to hookup.
It’s not all partying and constant travel.
There comes a point quickly enough where you end up having a more normal life down here as if you were back home.
Going to the grocery store to getting a haircut and much more.
But you are still a foreigner.
Something you have to be comfortable with.
As a result, you do miss having “normal moments” that make you feel like you are at home…
To also making you feel like you are part of the broader community so to speak..
In this case, that could mean going to a movie theater with a local chick instead of getting wasted at a bar.
Or, in the case above, it could be hanging out with a bunch of locals over some liquor and enjoying some of the local music.
In a way, I suppose that isn’t so much a “normal moment” in that I definitely wasn’t dancing to cumbia with Venezuelan chicks insecure about their titty size back home in Iowa.
So there is a difference there but the desired effect is the same.
In which you feel like you belong in a way to the local community you are in.
Perhaps that is one reason why I prefer hanging out with local Latinos over other gringos.
Though there is a time and place for everything and I like to hang out with gringos from time to time also.
As that is more similar to feeling connected to something that is from back home – another gringo who has a shared experience as you.
From being a gringo in general to being a foreigner as well down here.
In other cases though, you desire being more part of the local community at times and making friends with locals.
Even though you understand and accept that you will always be the foreigner.
To which you should or else I’d feel you’d go mad and leave the region eventually.
Still, you can walk the line where you can engage the locals and enjoy the local culture for what it is.
To feel part of it briefly.
While always understanding and being comfortable with the fact that you will also be seen as the outsider to it.
And that’s fine.
Or how I would frequent this bar across from my old apartment in Pachuca, Mexico that never had another gringo and where I would hang out with a few of the other regulars from time to time whenever I stopped by.
To not engage the local culture or make friends with locals…
I never could understand how some gringos could never do that.
You do have some who stick strictly to a “gringo bubble.”
In contrast, I suppose you can say I have spent most of my time in Mexico in more of a “Latin bubble” in the sense that almost most of the people I have hung out with are locals.
Perhaps that is something to write about more in greater detail another day,…
The “Gringo Bubble” vs the “Latin Bubble” and whatever those terms could mean.
Either way, both bubbles help in combating the loneliness that you might feel down here.
And to combat that with having more “normal moments” by going to the movie theater with maybe a nice Argentine woman.
To engaging the local culture when appropriate and enjoying the cultural differences that come with that.
With all the memories it brings.
Anyway, got any comments or questions?
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