Midwesterner in Mexico Rotating Header Image

Happy Halloween!

A very Happy Halloween to all those here in the US this evening! Today marks our official re-entry into Normal Life 2.0, as we arrived this evening back to Arlington, Virginia after 2 years and 3 months living in Mexico City. We’ve been on a 2700+ mile road trip starting in Denver, Colorado on October 14, had the chance to see lots of lovely friends & family along the way, met lots of precious new babies/toddlers, and suffered only one car accident– luckily no injuries to anyone except my pretty blue Nissan Altima that my suegra had kept in fantastic shape while we were away. I think the Altima may be regretting his change in ownership… :)

Some dude turning left in front of me at the last minute in an intersection was a most unpleasant turn of events as we arrived into Chicago.

But you may really be wondering, “Julie, how did you know that you were no longer in Mexico?” I know, I know… it can be tricky to differentiate, but here are a few of the signs:

1) We had to pump our own gas AND wash our own windshield.

This was novel... for like 30 seconds. How can it be that having someone else pump your gas went out of vogue in the US??

2. We got to stand next to someone taller than we are, who also has blonde hair.

Cousin Kami & her darling 4-month-old twins, Lucy & Sam.

3. We were pressured by family members to wear Uncle Sam & Betsy Ross hairpieces/hats.

This was part of our re-indoctrination process, courtesy Uncle Ken & Aunt Kathy

4. We began seeing a lot of mashed potatoes & gravy and fried chicken. Not to mention corn off the cob that lacked a layer of mayo/cheese/lime juice/chile powder slathered atop it.

Obesity problem in America?? What could you possibly be referring to?

5. Cheladas are no longer made by thoughtful bartenders; they are sold in cans in the supermarket.

I was skeptical of this incarnation of the chelada.

6. The frequency of deer-based cured meat products for sale was markedly increased. Frankly, as was the sale of non-spicy sausage products in general.

John demos how the deer in question might have looked prior to death. Additional bonus of cheese curds in the lower right. Thank you, Wisconsin.

7. Speaking of deer, we saw a dead one riding home to dinner strapped atop someone’s SUV.

This is how middle America does "para llevar". ("to go")

In summary, we’re pretty sure we are back in the States, and now begins a couple weeks of intense home improvements to our townhouse here in Arlington. After two years of renting, there is plenty of work to be done– but we received a positive sign regarding our impending home repairs at the Chinese restaurant we stopped by tonight:

My fortune cookie promised us that "You will have no problems in your home." We're also counting on the "tasty fruit" promised in John's fortune cookie after we kill ourselves painting every wall in the place.

Lest you think that I’ve already forgotten the name of this blog, today’s touch of Mexico comes courtesy of my parents back in Nebraska. My Mom passed along the below photo of my Dad, who pulled a full coordinated outfit together for handing out Halloween candy this evening. I can’t wait to hear how it went. :)

El Matematico de Nebraska could easily compete with any professional luchador with this costume, accompanied by the giant rat that is actually a basket for candy. Well done, Larry!!!

Although my favorite part is how his eyes look slightly crazed, I would like to point out that that is due to the unevenly-sized eye holes of the lucha mask, and not because my Dad actually has uneven eyes. Honest. Larry’s eyes could serve as a level for hanging picture frames; that is just how even his eyes are.

Thanks to all for your well-wishes, and more Mexico anecdotes to continue after we get settled in!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Maryluna says:

    I am sooo glad you are back!! I have been following your blog for a few months and absolutely love it! To keep myself entertained as I anxiously awaited your return I went back to read your olders posts.

    I can’t wait for you to get settled in so you can continue telling us about your experience in Mexico. My parents are Mexican so I grew up with lots of Mexican customs and I travelled to Mexico quite often, but it still sometimes is an enigma to me. Some things I get and others just make me say “Huh?” I guess that is why I love your blog so much… it makes me realize I am not the one that feels that way, and you are also so darn funny too!

    Don’t stop posting!

  2. laurencancun says:

    EEP! I am sooo glad you are still planning on keeping up with your blog!!!

    Hahaha – I looooved this post….Well, except for the deer on the car part! For real??? I mean suitcases, christmas trees, skis, okay!

    Anyways, enjoy getting reacquainted!!!

  3. Cynthia says:

    Maybe you should switch from Nissans to Hondas???

  4. Ronit says:

    I too am such a fan!!! I am so going to miss you!! Please keep up your blog! You make me and so many others laugh! Even if we’re still in Mexico and you’re in D.C. we have become addicted to your bolg. Keep us laughing please. I also love to see what’s going on in the good ‘ole USA!
    p.s.I so miss all those Chinese/Thai restaurants back home! Have one on me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *