Thursday is Thanksgiving.
I know this because, at this precise moment, I remember that we’re in late November. Also people keep asking me about my turkey-eating plans (for the record: a potluck gathering on Saturday.)
But arriving at this always nostalgic American period has helped me realize something: after nearly two years in Mexico, I’m totally disoriented when it comes to time.
This is fall, right? It doesn’t feel like fall. I’m pretty sure we just finished up September, but April was about four months ago. Didn’t we take that trip in August, like five weeks ago?
This is what happens when your idea of a typical year – the vacations, the national holidays, the down periods, the super busy periods – gets ripped up and trashed.
Here is the annual ebb and flow in Mexico.
Let’s begin with Jesus, a necessary launching point here. Christmas break is epic, lasting three weeks. And while the supermarket’s still open, there’s almost an apocalyptic feel in the Distrito Federal – and by that I mean: no traffic.
Just when you think Christmas is over, you realize, in a sense it lasts through mid-Spring. There’s still Día de los Reyes Magos (Jan. 6), Día de la Candelaria (Feb. 2) and Easter, three more events relating to Jesus and Mary. Unlike the usual U.S. winter doldrums, a sense of festivity reigns until the last event, when many people take off the week of Semana Santa. Why be bummed all January, February and March when it’s relatively warm outside and your next vacation’s just around the corner?
But then while most Americans head to the beaches in the summer, it does get depressing in Mexico. The rainy season begins in June and lasts through September. While you (old friend that might be reading this blog – or mom) are buying a new broad-brimmed straw hat, Mexico City residents are purchasing their fourth umbrella in a month. And they’re not going out for leisurely early happy hours because half the office is gone anyway. Summer means work.
Finally when that period ends, national holidays celebrating the country’s independence and its 20th century revolution start popping up. No leaves turns color. This year, there’s barely even a chill in the air. It just got dryer. And then it’s almost Jesus season.
So there you have it! A year in Mexico.
Just one little border separates you from a familiar calendar and total discombobulation.
Ugh, maybe what I’m trying to say is: I probably should have gone home for Thanksgiving.
Photo by tinaxduzgen, Flickr Creative Commons