Look closely at Mexico's flag and you'll see an eagle clutching a snake. I don't usually liken myself or my family to serpents but that emblazoned image represents some of our sentiments about the country. Mexico, symbolized by the eagle, really sunk its claws into us too. Don't be alarmed. I mean that in a good way.
It was bittersweet saying goodbye on March 1 to all our fond friends, familiar faces,
and food fixes. My son cried at his school's touching farewell and our nanny was teary to see us (and our dog) go. Our last supper that night was at our favorite hole-in-the-wall taco joint. We left on a high note.
It's taken me until now to give Mexico a proper (and mushy) farewell. I don't have an
excuse for my procrastination. I did recently complete a photo
album of our two years spent there so that labor of love surely provided some sense of closure and
motivation to reflect. All the pictures of beach trips also reminded me how good we had it. DC seems like a hardship post in comparison.
The transition back to life in America has been relatively smooth. We moved into an apartment precisely two floors below where we were previously lived and enrolled the boys in the same public school they left two years prior. Three days later DiploMom was in Arabic class and I was in functional training for my next job. We quickly reconnected with old friends and made new ones in the kid-friendly confines of Oakwood housing. We had instantaneous access to hundreds of English-language channels (for better and worse) and all the comforts of home.
Yet we often reminisce about our former lives in Mexico City, sometimes lamenting an over-priced meal eating out, other times just out of the blue. We went to an authentic Mexican restaurant several weeks ago and the boys ordered beef tongue tacos without a second thought. The older son then proceeded to speak in Spanish for the whole meal. You can take the boy out of Mexico, but you can't take the Mexico out of the boy.
All this nostalgia is somewhat surprising considering Mexico was just supposed to be our "visa tour," a way station between coveted in-cone postings. Living by the Mediterranean and working on high-profile issues in Israel was a tough act to follow. And landing tandem gigs in Oman, the hidden jewel of Arabia, was a coup in itself. There's just something about Mexico though.
One thing I learned very well during my 25,000-plus visa adjudications
in Mexico City was how to ascertain ties to the country as grounds for
approving or refusing a visa applicant. It's safe to say that any one of
my former consular colleagues would have issued visas to us. Although
we are full-blooded Americans, a piece of our heart will always be in