Coming back to Mexico is always very intense for me. The culture and colors are so beautiful I wish I wish I wish I were a part of them but I never really was. I lived in Mexico as a Jew from age 9 to 18, when I moved to Israel. My formative years were spent in the US, and the rest of the years were spent trying to understand why I was so different. I never knew the songs everyone here sang, or watched the tv shows people quote to this day. I made myself get used to spicy candy and to sharing my food with everyone who asked for some (in the US we were forbidden to share food in school but in Mexico if you didn’t share, you were left out of the lunch circle. I learned quickly). So coming here is like coming to the place that really tried to be my home but didn’t quite make the cut.
I have been spending time looking for places where I grew up, where I used to hang out and places I loved but they are either changed, gone, too far, or I can’t quite seem to remember what those were.
I have an insatiable craving for Mexican food that will remind me of my childhood but, instead, they all taste new to me. I don’t even recognize the names of most dishes.
I lived in Mexico as an immigrant and I visit it as a stranger with the exception of one constant: people who have a place in my heart since so long ago that my heart has grown around them and captured them in there forever. It’s a special kind of feeling to be in a place I feel so foreign to, surrounded by some of the most important people in my life.
I take nothing for granted. I am invited into homes and made to feel as if they were my own and I am pampered in every possible way by people who are showering me with love.
We have all changed, and every time we meet we are a little bit less who we were and a little bit more who we are becoming.