Thursday, May 1, 2008

I am Cuban-American

I never realized how "cuban" I really am. Sure, I do acknowledge it. But since moving away, I've come to realize it even more. Miami is a whole other world. And you may think, well, so is where I am now. That's true. But they are so completely opposite, yet both worlds fit "me" so well. In Miami, what was normal to me, is not normal here. Like, I've noticed how much cafe con leche I drink. I can't get on with the day without it. I never paid much attention to my habit because EVERYONE drinks cafe con leche in miami. And what happens when I am running the streets and I want cafe con leche in Miami? I can stop by Vicky bakery and get one for $1.25. I can't here...not even for $5.25 at Starbucks! Can you imagine?! Aqui, no existe esto. That is why I had to stock up on Cafe Bustelo last time I was home. And now I have so much, it can last me till 2010. And while in my classroom, when the kids drive me up the wall, what are the first words that WANT to come out of my mouth? You guessed it! "Ay, Dios mio!!!" If I say that here I am sure the kids will look at me funny! So, I watch myself. LOL And it's ok. How many times have I caught myself "almost" talking Spanglish? I never noticed how much "spanglish" I really speak. Also, I've realized how important it's always been for me to have a manicure. Almost all Cuban women take their appearance seriously. Since I was 17 years old, I've gotten my nails done on a weekly basis. Aqui no. Women don't particularly care too much about their well manicured feet and nails. I pay twice as much for a mani and pedi. But I don't care because even if I am wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, I believe I still look good because I have a manicure. The tiniest and smallest details of who I am stand out like a white sheep in a green field. I've realized how much I have taken my culture for granted. I watch "I love Lucy" differently now. I am proud of what Desi Arnaz was able to accomplish during those times. I turn on Univision because I WANT to just listen to it. Listening to those telecasts reminds me of who I really am. It reminds me of home. I watched Gloria and Emilio on The View today and I felt like I was watching my family on TV. Does that sound weird? I will be in Miami next Friday. And I will be going to Vicky bakery to get my cafe con leche, tostada, and 2 croquetas. I can just taste it already! Ay, Dios Mio!!!!

I guess you can take the Cuban-American girl out of Miami, but you can't take the Cuban out of the American girl.



prima. first of all let me say that you wrote a beautiful entry. It really touched my heart for many reasons. A. I felt the same way watching Gloria and Emilio. I felt like that was a piece of me that I was sharing with the world. Kind of like tia Gloria and tio Emilio were on tv. I felt so warm inside, even a little emotional.

B. If anyone can relate you know its me. I went through all of this when I moved to Boston. While I loved the change of scenery and seeing things I had never had the chance to see living Miami, I realized how Cuban I am. You don't really notice it when you're surrounded by Cubanasos in miami. But we grew up here how could it not have rubbed off on us? When I was in Boston and I would hear Spanish music or hear someone speaking Spanish my ears would perk up and I would get excited because it was like a piece of home. My culture. Something I was so deprived of living in Boston. You really start to realize how much the culture is a part of you.

C. The food. OMG i so totally know!! hello where else can you get cuban bread? real cuban bread. at 60 cents a loaf! you miss all your croquetas and pastelitos. I tried to compensate by cooking cuban dishes. Chicken empanizado with rice and beans, lechon, picadillo, even just using sazon completa (what my dad uses to cook everything) on chicken when i cook it made it taste like home. Try to stock up on essentials. The stuff you can bring with you. Like coffee, spices, etc. But you can't replicate cuban bread. believe me i tried!!

D. When the marlins won the world series the last time, i was in boston. Of course no one there gave a flying fuck. Ed and I went online to channel 7 streaming video and saw the people on the streets with their maracas and bongos just celebrating on the street. and we got so homesick. i missed that soooo much! mi gente.

Being in a diff state is like being in a diff world. And now that I'm back i'm cursing those damn people who refuse to speak english. but i am loving all the cuban food at my fingertips and the fact that things stay open late. its just too much here. oversaturated with culture. wish there was a happy medium. and its a shame that you had to leave here to have that american dream. wish there was a better way to marry the two.

but you're right. we're cuban girls. and i'm very proud of that. :)

Post a Comment