I'm from Mexico City and lived in the U.S. for a total of more than 24 years. Now I'm back in Mexico. I realized I was seeing my country through the eyes of a native stranger. This is an attempt to process the differences, to explain Mexico to the U.S. and the U.S. to Mexico. With digressions along the way.

miércoles, octubre 19, 2005

Will I Miss the US?

I'm moving to Spain next year, if all goes well. I wonder if I'll miss my "easy" life here. The land of convenience and consumption. Especially in Durham things can be quite effortless. You leave for a movie 5 minutes before it starts. But I'm really looking forward to living in a real city again....

It's just that as much as I'm tired of this place, I think my sense of identity has become so tied to it that I wonder what the new me, the eventual native in a new strange land, will be like.

Darle Cran

There's a curious expression in Spanish, "darle cran." I don't know if it exists outside of Mexico. You usually use it to mean doing away with something, destroying it, killing it. My dad told me the other day that the expression originally meant to crank...it comes from cranking a car motor. Literally, then, "give it a crank."

So how did that end up meaning to get rid of something? My guess is that if something was "dead" or not working, you would say you had to "darle cran" to get it started (crank it up). Maybe eventually people thought it meant it was no good anymore and should be thrown away. And then from that it went to actually destroying it.

Junk Blog

I've just started a new blog to put all my "consumption" opinions, because I realized I kept putting them here and they were out of place. I wanted to call the blog "Consumption Junktion," but of course it's so obvious it's already taken. So I called it "Funktion Junktion" instead--if you can think of a better name let me know! Anyway, there you will find stuff like my posts on the Mooncup and alternatives to plastic water bottles. I have plans for a post on sun protection and endocrine disruptors. Woo hoo!

martes, octubre 11, 2005


It was bound to happen. I accidentally destroyed by DivaCup. What's a DivaCup you ask? I'll just point you to the original post where I introduce it. How could I destroy such a sturdy, fail-proof design?

Uh...well...I put it in a pot of water to boil for five minutes for the monthly sterilization, and I went to my computer because who wants to sit there and watch something boil...and I forgot. About a half hour later I'm smelling something funny, and my poor DivaCup is scorching at the bottom of a very hot, very dry pot. I can't believe the thing didn't melt. I actually almost considered using it, but it had these little cracks in it from the heat, and they just seemed like places bacteria would love to collect.

So it went to the trash...and I went to the internet to buy another one because there is NO WAY I am going back to using tampons or sanitary napkins. This time, I decided to be adventurous and get a Mooncup! It seems almost identical, it's also made out of silicone. But it's got a better name in my opinion, though I always referred to my DivaCup as my keeper, since that's what I had first. Like a tissue is a kleenex. With that, I will have tried all three menstrual cup brands I know about. I wonder if that qualifies me for something.