A few weeks ago, I was sitting down with a friend of mine named Bryan just shooting the shit about whatever in Mexico City.
Specifically around the area by Metro Bellas Artes.
Anyway, we were just chilling and having a few drinks while chatting about whatever.
And I ended up getting a phone call from some chick I know named Angie.
She was down to meet up later that day and I figured it would be fun.
So after my time hanging out with Bryan…
I got some tacos de pastor in the street before ultimately heading over to her area by Metro Portales.
From there, we bought some food to bring inside her place so we can just chill watching a movie and having dinner.
That’s been the usual thing we’ve been doing now for quite a while…
These days, we often meet up to eat some food and watch whatever movie of the day.
Funny enough, I’m always the one to decide the movie.
She always just hands me the remote and I pick whatever movie it will be.
Sometimes it’s Rocky.
This time it was Goodfellas.
Anyway, Netflix didn’t have the movie for Goodfellas.
But, as of this writing, some random dude posted the entire movie in separate videos in a playlist on Youtube.
So we picked that.
Unfortunately for Angie, it didn’t have subtitles.
Her English is pretty solid but obviously she didn’t pick up on everything.
Anyway, the movie carries on to a part in this scene specifically below where Henry Hill is told to not get involved with drugs.
As you can see here.
Anyway, sometimes watching movies about life in the US gets me nostalgic…
Reconnecting with Home by Movies
It’s been about a year and 4 months since I last visited my family in the US.
Or been to the US in general.
I miss home sometimes.
I never disliked the US or being there.
That was never the reason why I left the country.
And so you miss your home country from time to time…
Especially if you haven’t been back there in a while.
Sometimes, like when I was with Angie, I watch movies that remind me of home.
Like Field of Dreams here.
Or Rocky here.
With Field of Dreams, it’s actually quite relatable as it is a movie about Iowa.
Where I’m from!
There’s different scenes that seem relatable to home.
Like when Rocky goes to the ice skating ring and that reminds me of home.
Or simply seeing a scene that has a tiny bit of snow and cold outside and thinking of home again.
I’ll probably write an article one of these days about different movie scenes that remind me of home.
When it comes to Goodfellas….
Well, it has its fair share of scenes like that also.
Like in that scene I posted above....
It was something very simple.
A very simple detail that most people wouldn’t care about.
Especially if they never left their home country.
But it caught my attention.
You see the scene where they walk out behind the house?
Into the backyard?
Simply seeing that sight of a backyard.
Missing that aspect of life.
In all of my time in Mexico City, I’ve never had a backyard in any of my apartments obviously.
It brought back memories to a degree….
The Backyards in Iowa
In the first house my parents lived at, I remember that backyard.
Actually, I feel more nostalgic for that one than the next one.
Memories of playing in the snow with my sister.
Or planting the tree when I was a kid…
Standing in front of it with my dad and my backpack ready to go to elementary school.
Hunting for Easter Eggs with my sister.
And always kicking her ass…
Because obviously boys are better than girls at finding easter eggs.
Or seeing the neighbor across the bush that divided our house.
Some old man who lived alone well into his 90s or so that seemed quite friendly.
Or messing around with an old friend named Paul in which we got into rock throwing matches with the neighbors.
Rock throwing matches?
Look, we didn’t have much else to do.
So it wasn’t uncommon for kids to stand on different sides of the street and throw rocks at each other.
But with rocks.
It actually hurt me one time when I was like 7 and one of the rocks did a good one to my head.
I didn’t notice it right away though.
But my head was bleeding profusely as one of the rocks opened up a wound on top of my head.
Some old lady told me “hey, you are bleeding!”
I touched my head and saw my hand with a shit ton of blood.
Paul noticed it too.
So I ran inside and my parents took me to the hospital to get the problem resolved.
I turned out alright.
Of course, it wasn’t just my backyard where we had fun.
Paul’s dad let me shoot his gun when I was like 8 or whatever at some cans in his backyard once.
To also memories of doing other shit around the neighborhood at the time.
Hanging out with another kid named Andrew when we were like 8 but then his dad flipped on me for some reason I forgot and we couldn’t hang out anymore.
Or taking bikes with friends and just having fun riding around.
When my parents moved to their second house, I remember hanging out at a friend’s place named Jesse.
His brother had dirt bikes that we fucked with once in a blue moon in his backyard.
And when we did move to that other neighborhood…
Just the memories with that also.
With family – shooting off fireworks we’d have to buy in Missouri across state lines to celebrate 4th of July.
Or getting creeped out by the shed in the back right behind my window that was definitely haunted as fuck.
Quite often at night before going to bed – you’d hear the door open up a bit.
“What was that?”
Some fucking ghost or whatever.
That house is definitely haunted as fuck.
But it wasn’t just creepy shit obviously.
Plenty of normal shit also just hanging out with new friends in the area.
Like hanging out with a good friend named Tyson when I was in Middle School.
And we'd break into this abandoned house next to some concrete path that went down a wooded area when we were in Middle School.
To when we started a band called "Blue Flames" with Jeese.
Trying to make some cool music similar to what you'd hear in this vid perhaps.
I miss it to a degree.
What do I miss?
First, the nostalgia of my childhood.
Well, the positive moments anyway.
And also having a backyard.
Though the two probably are related with each other…
And I remembered that nostalgia as I was watching Goodfellas with Angie…
“Mexico Doesn’t Have Backyards”
When I saw that scene again with Angie as you can see here…
I don’t know why.
The scene has nothing to do with “backyards.”
It’s about drugs.
But, similar to the other movies above, you get nostalgic when you see movies portraying life in the US….
Especially as you have been away for so long…
It’s simple shit like that which brings back the nostalgia and the memories.
Something as simple as seeing snow in a movie like Rocky.
Or seeing a backyard in Goodfellas.
And as we were watching the movie…
I was eating a gordita – a type of Mexican food.
With some whiskey and coca cola in hand.
And I said to Angie in Spanish as I saw the scene….
“You know, I miss that aspect about life back home.”
“What?” she asked.
“A backyard. In Mexico, they don’t have backyards.”
When I said that, she made a face for a second like “what?”
And it caught my attention right away before she said anything.
To which I followed with “well, not as much in Mexico City anyway.”
And she nodded and went “yeah, in Mexico City not as much. More so in other parts of the country.”
Now, to be fair, I’m positive that there are apartments or homes in Mexico City with backyards.
There’s got to be at least one!
But I’ve never seen it.
Never once in this city.
If I had to guess, maybe I’d have more luck finding one in a place like Lomas de Sotelo.
But I know they must have at least one place in this city with a backyard!
Though, even if they did, it definitely wouldn’t be as dope with the backyards I grew up with.
Because nostalgia and all.
Though, as Angie brought up, there definitely are places outside of Mexico City where you have more respectable backyards.
Perhaps in less urban places.
A nice small town perhaps in Chiapas maybe.
Either way, there’s some larger points anyway that come with this very brief and, for most of you, not very exciting moment from watching Goodfellas.
The Larger Points
There’s a few larger points to bring up here from this relatively irrelevant experience.
First, you will likely miss your home and the nostalgia that comes with it when you live abroad.
If you don’t, you must not have a soul.
Second, when living abroad, small things can remind you of home and trigger that nostalgia.
Third, having friends can obviously make it more tolerable when it comes to feeling a sickness from missing home.
If it’s a gringo friend, then you two can at least relate to life back home and also the differences you both notice about living in your new country like Mexico.
If it’s a local friend, well then you can at least share your experiences with someone you enjoy company with.
It’s nice to discuss those things with someone over time and it’s helpful for getting shit off your chest about stuff you miss.
Fourth, your experience in a country may not necessarily reflect life everywhere in that country.
In this case, I have spent almost all of my time in Mexico City, Pachuca de Soto and El Estado when in Mexico.
I’ve visited other areas…
Some very rural areas like this village here.
But my experience in Mexico has been largely in urban areas.
And only renting at apartments without a backyard.
For 4 years as of this writing.
For that reason, it might make sense why I made the statement that “backyards don’t exist in Mexico.”
I’m sure they do!
I’ve never seen one…
Even when I visited the house of my last girlfriend’s place in a small town in Hidalgo…
They didn’t have a backyard either.
And that was in a small town, damn it!
Even that small village I mentioned way above?
No backyards there either!
Granted, they had communal property ownership shared by everyone.
So I doubt anyone would be allowed an entire backyard private to themselves in that village.
Anyway, even in rural areas of Mexico, I have yet to see one god damn backyard.
I know they exist!
I just haven’t seen one.
But I know they exist.
I just want to say that obviously my experience being in mostly urban centers of Mexico has obviously affected my perception of the topic of Mexican backyards.
According to Angie, she knows folks with backyards.
So they do exist…
Yet to be seen but I guess it’s like a fucking unicorn then.
In theory, they exist.
Logically, they should exist.
Just haven’t seen one personally yet.
But I’ll stop rambling on that point.
The fourth point has been made – which that your experience in any particular country might not reflect how it is elsewhere in that country.
Especially if your experience is so heavily shadowed by living in a certain context like living in a very large metropolitan city.
Fifth, I’d like a backyard again.
If that hasn’t been obvious yet.
Some place to play baseball in.
Like Field of Dreams here.
With some kebabs cooking.
Set off some fireworks again.
With a patio where I can put a chair down and just relax with the distance to admire and the solitude to find comfort in.
Maybe some pets nearby.
And birds chirping away.
Would be nice.
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And thanks for reading.