“Ay! Beautiful Guadalajara, I want to tell you something … you have the most Mexican soul …” This excerpt was taken from the well-known song, best sung by Vicente Fernandez, “Guadalajara!“
I’ve likely spent more than half my childhood summers in this Mexican city filled with my extensive and eccentric family — the stories I could fill this blog! While much of the poetry is lost on me after I quickly translate it in my mind, there’s something about this love song to Guadalajara that grabs me, probably this line right here: tienes el alma mas Mexicana. Yes, I think I do have a Mexican soul.
After a three-year hiatus
I came back to Guadalajara to visit my mother’s family; my family.
During the visit, I realize that I don’t say much and I’ve become more of an observer. I’m sure it doesn’t help that the language, with its vast playful expressions and new slang words that I’ve not had the opportunity to learn, don’t come quick enough and I stammer when I do speak. But good things come from just listening. Mostly, I catch up on a lot of gossip and family business.
As a young married woman, returning to family who’s breeding at a top-rate speed, the natural question is when will I have kids? The answer is not soon, as they collectively laugh at my attempt to hold one of the dozens of kids in circulation at one of our gatherings. However, I made it up for it later when I had to change the little one’s pañal.
Hand gestures and expressions
They are a passionate people, my family. Raising voices paired with a very specific hand gesture to show the right emotion when emphasizing a particular point during a conversation are commonly used by all but hard for me to emulate.
Chicka-nice, beachy-beachy and horis-coris are just a couple of sayings that I’ve recently picked up from this visit. A combination of Spanglish slang words that just have more color than say, “fugly” which would be the horis-coris equivalent.
I also noticed that there was a common expression used after being greeted — Aquí tienes tu casa or here, you have your home. Now back in los Estados Unidos as I recall my Mexican memories, the expression means more to me now than before.