That up there is me. Circa September 2015. My hair is shorter now and the bags under my eyes are considerably larger and darker.

Around 2002, I moved to the US. For the next 4 years, people asked me where I was from. I told them to guess. No one got it right. People don’t ask as often anymore, but when they do, I still ask them to guess. They still can’t.

Apparently, I don’t look nor sound Mexican. I’m either too pale for their tastes, or I have an accent, but not the “right” one. It could be that on my Dad’s side I’m Native Mexican and on my Mom’s a melange of Northern European. It could be that I grew up with two languages at home, plus extras at school. It could be that I unconsciously mimic speech patterns and they give me nondescript strange accents. It could be that I pronounce some words in the language I first heard them in, such as mustache, which I first heard in French, and which makes people giggle madly when I say it.

Still…….I’ve kept a list of the responses people give me when I ask them to guess. And it makes me laugh a lot. In order of frequency:

  • Randomly eastern european.
  • Spanish.
  • British.
  • Randomly south american.
  • Italian.
  • Portuguese.
  • Brazilian.
  • Russian.
  • Argentinian.
  • Panamanian.
  • German.
  • Philippine.
  • Malaysian.
  • Native american.
  • Saudi Arabian.
  • Romanian.
  • Turkish.
  • Israeli.