Changing countries, changing continents... At the time, moving to live in Mexico City at the height of the swine flu epidemic didn't seem to be the most sensible thing to do. In fact, the day my husband landed in DF to start work and set up house, they handed him a mask at the airport and the city was shut down. A virtual prisoner in his hotel for four days and rocked by a strong quake, he caught a plane back to Spain before returning for a second attempt a few weeks later.
I followed with our two teenagers in August when school had finished. We packed a big case each and set off for what we affectionately call The Mexican Experience. It was a radical move, from our small country village in Catalonia (Spain) to one of the world's megacities. We swapped the wide open Empordà skies swept clean by the Tramontana wind for the nata (cream) of Mexico City, the layer of pollution which blankets the city. It wasn't easy but it has been interesting and very conducive to the personal growth of each family member.
With this move, we added yet another dimension to our already multicultural, multilingual family. Whereas prior to coming to Mexico, in-house communication was a free-for-all babble of English, Spanish and Catalan, we have now added Mexican and American to our banter. Potatoes are no longer patatas but papas and tortillas are not Spanish omelettes but Mexico's equivalent of bread, the small round corn or flour flatbreads eaten with most dishes.
In a few months' time, we will have been living in Mexico City for almost two years, and looking back, the move has been a positive one. Funny to think that Mexico had never been on our agenda. We had never even thought of visiting this country. Now the Mexican culture, language and way of life are an integral part of our family life and history. Our kids know more Mexican history and geography than those of their country of birth. They are just as likely to have quesadillas de queso for breakfast as toast and Marmite. Who would have imagined it a few years ago?