México. Um. I suppose I’m not actually in México proper, since I am only in the capital. Like, you aren’t in the United States if you live in Washington, DC.
Maybe it’s Latin America burnout. I’ve lived and traveled somewhere south of the United States for going on four years, and by the time we leave México, it will be more than six. (And I still no habla Español.)
I’m just not getting into it. Living this way is sort of in limbo. Sure I make the most of it: exercising extreme gluttony and excesses of tequila and cerveza, luxuriating in the mild weather, enjoying art and architecture. But I have no sense of being a part of any of this in any way other than as a consuming passerby. I have been nowhere in Latin America and found myself entertaining even the passing fancy that I could live here.
What I liked about the years we lived in Buenos Aires was that it is the most European-like city in the Americas. (What I didn’t like about it was its Latin American underpinnings.)
Unlike Europe, for which I sustain an intense nostalgia, engaging in frequent and lengthy episodes of reverie. I have lived for many years in two European countries and visited almost all the rest, and it was a rare place I did not imagine living for the rest of my life. (In contrast with the US, place of my birth, where the rarity is finding a place I could stand to live.)
Does our DNA contain some sort of place history? Is there a chromosome containing cultural heritage? I have a European soul, and cannot otherwise account for it, except in an oft-used phrase describing an aspect of my writing as geography as ontology.
If we are who we are because of where we are, then displacement is all the more tragic.