We’ve all seen the college student who goes off to London for a semester, returns home, and can’t shed their newly acquired British accent. Or the young professional who takes a trip to the Taj Mahal and returns more insufferable than ever, because no one else in his crowd had ever ventured past Europe. Travel can bring out the smartypants in a person. Actually moving abroad can make a person intolerable.
So naturally I rolled my eyes and created a fuss when my neighborhood Mexican food joint, in coastal Connecticut, dared to offer something “Yucatecan” on the menu. I scoffed. I rolled my eyes. I did my “superior dance” around the table. Chicken with mushrooms and a white wine sauce is certainly not Yucatecan, I proclaimed. But a little voice inside me said, “shut up, punk. You barely know your panucho from your pok chuc.”
And it’s true. I know just enough to let my big mouth run away with me. I can toss off careless advice to people more newbie than me. Then, I’m humbled by someone else’s post that shows me something absolutely new. I’m always learning something about Mérida and the region, which is why it holds my interest.
So I’m trying to hold back on the glib advice, keeping mouth closed and my eyes and ears open. I really don’t know where the best coffee is. I don’t know if $2.95 MX for a kilogram is better than $4.20 U.S. a pound. I don’t know if polished concrete is a good idea for a kitchen counter. (But I still suspect this pollo has nothing to do with Yucatan.)
Whether you are moving to Mérida or Madrid or Madagascar, the journey requires more than curiosity, it requires humility.