Living far from home and in a non-Spanish country has given me an extra connection with my lengua materna (native language) that I didn’t feel before. The distance has also made me long for so many cultural things, and, when talking to friends from Venezuela, Guatemala, and Spain, I hear so many similitudes (similarities). Here is a list of some of the things I miss!
Yes, of course, this is obvious because of how important it is for all cultures. From Mexico, I miss eating tacos at all hours of the day and night. My favorite are tacos al pastor, but I also love tacos de arrachera (hanger steak) from the North of the country and even the delicious Tex-Mex breakfast tacos with huevo con chorizo (egg with chorizo) or huevo con papa (egg with potato). Even though I do not eat anything picante (spicy), I also miss the variety of salsas in the restaurants of all colors and intensities.
Funny enough, I also miss food from other countries even if I am not from there. When I go to Spain, patatas bravas and jamón serrano are definitely on my list to eat. When it gets cold in the Netherlands, I long for a sunny day in Spain eating some tapas and drinking vino tinto.
Another food I have a lot of nostalgia for, and I have only eaten once is arepas! I had them once in Mexico City with a Venezuelan friend. She served them as she was making them and I thought it was one of the most amazing dishes in the world! In Latin America, we have a thing for food made with maíz (corn) and delicious meat fillings. After that one taste, I always miss arepas!
Another obvious one is the weather! I live in the Netherlands and we have a lot of days with nubes (clouds) and lluvia (rain). Winters can be cold, and this is when I miss the clima templado (mild weather) from Mexico City so much! In Mexico, you can definitely go to the beach in December, at least in the states from del sur (the south). By March, I am tired of the ritual of vestirse (dressing) and desvestirse (undressing) each time you get somewhere with all the jackets and bufandas (scarves). I am not sure how the winters in Spain are, but I suspect they might get more sun!
This might be a surprise, but I sometimes miss the chaos of Mexico City. Have you ever driven in Mexico City? That is an adventure all on its own with crazy drivers, unbelievable traffic, and roads that make little sense compared to the calles organizadas (organized streets) of Northern Europe. The thing with chaos is that it also brings about sorpresas (surprises). While you are taking an atajo (shortcut) to avoid traffic, you might find yourself in a cute little street or see a hidden cafe. Surviving traffic might make your meal across the city even more memorable. Avoiding traffic might also push you into the cine giving you an unexpected pleasure in the middle of the week. The chaos might also make you cranky and tired. You never know!
The one obvious sign Spanish is my lengua materna (native language) is the way it pops out when I am angry. I cannot get angry in English or Dutch or Italian the way I can get angry in Spanish. My mouth just wants to say carajo (fuck) and ya estoy hasta la madre (I am fed up) and cual es tu pinche problema (what is your fucking problem)! While there are equivalents to these in other languages, they do not feel right.
The video below translates a few insults, and while they might sound ridiculous in English, sometimes you need that ridiculousness in your life!
What do you miss about your native language or a place you have lived in?
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About the Author:Karoly G Molina
Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover!
I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!
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