Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cartoon 1: Where are all the tumbleweeds?

So...okay wow here I am. Yesterday I arrived in Mexico City  and I am reminded of the experience I had the first time I came to Mexico. I know its called Mexico CITY but somehow somewhere in my consciousness I expected to see cactuses and tumbleweeds and desert and well yes...mariachis.  But no, walking the streets I see punks, yuppies, hippies, businessmen and women, skaters, rockers and everything in between.  Come to find out that Mexico City is actually 3 times the size of New York. So from the first moments of my trip my subconscious perceptions, my ignorances are reveled, accepted and blown out of the water.
On that note, its time for me to say goodbye.  Goodbye to a common language, gestures, way of understanding the world, history, way of defining success, value, work.  Goodbye to American "black" people and "white" people and the dense common history that has been so deeply present for me everyday of my life growing up in the south. Goodbye to the potent diversity of cultures from all over the world that we have the opportunity to enjoy in the U.S.  Goodbye to blonde bobby pins (they almost don't sell them here) Goodbye to instant hot water (in most public places there's just cold water and in most of the houses that I've been, to save energy they only turn on the water heater when they are about to shower).  And even goodbye to  idea of being "American" because most people here wouldn't call me that (in their vision we are all American as we all live on the American continent).
Goodbye to the amazing people that make up the U.S., I carry with me memories of generosity, brilliant creativity, dedication to justice, and a deep sense of rootedness in community. These memories will nourish me in every moment of my journey...  


  1. I had a similar experience with being "American" when I was in Chile. Someone in my group introduced themselves to a Chilean as an American and the Chilean, very curtly replied "So am I." I was 17 and it definitely opened up a more global identity for myself.

    Thanks for this blog! I can't wait to hear more...

  2. Cartoon Sara is almost as cute as live action Sara!

  3. Wherever you go your friends are near.

  4. i remember when i realized claiming to be "american" was not all about the united states! i try not to say that anymore because it's become such an ego centric USA kinda of saying ya know?

  5. Yeh and also I think that the whole conversation is really multidimensional. I was talking to a good friend of mine here and we explored lotsa factors. She was saying that the US was the first on the continent to establish itself as an independent nation. She suggested that as one of the first generations of settlers to be born here, using the name American was one way of taking pride in being from the Americas in a time when Europe tended to look down on the people here. Also she talked about some of the settlers' belief that they were carrying out God's work by saving the continent, maybe the birth of the American world police concept? The protestant capitalistic idea that it is one's duty to use what God gave us to be as 'productive' as possible propelled/propels the drive to dominate and 'utilize' the land.

    And then the question comes well, if we decide we want to call ourselves something else, what would it be?? United Statesian? Haha The good thing for me is that here in Mexico there are a million different ways to refer to folks from the US- gringo, gabacho, Estadounidense, Norte Americano.
    The last one translates to North American which is super interesting to me cuz Mexico is also on the North American continent but some Mexican people don't consider themselves North American, but Latin American. Others consider themselves members of both groups depending on the context.

    p.s. love you Sandra!

  6. Gran proyecto, Sara. Te dejo un abrazo.

  7. Yeah! Sara, I´m just following you by my blog, so you follow me too, please anda I promise to read all time your cartoons and text. But you read and follow me.