There is one thing we –the intensas behind this blog– share in common: we did not grow up in the United States. We moved here in our teenage years to find out that well, things are different on this side of the border.
1. Being called Latina. We were either considered Hispanic or Mexican, but moving to America turned us into some sort of sexual designation. If Sofia Vergara doesn’t come to your mind after the word Latina, then we don’t know what does.
2. Greeting and meeting new people had never been so awkward. Cheek kissing is common practice for Hispanics but after our intensa friend Pamela did it unconsciously to a white guy on her first day of school, the guy opted to hide from her for the rest of the year. Now she embraces the “side hug” or the boring hand shake.
3.The dating game, so confusing. Guys seem to think that there is no need to ask a girl if she wants to be their girlfriend. Remember that boy in elementary school that actually asked “¿Quieres ser mi novia? Aww (sigh)…“Te quiero” before I love you (and we don’t mean “I like you”) there’s just no translation to that. On top of that what is this “going out” business? Is it the same as “dating”? Is dating like being boyfriend and girlfriend?
5. Cinco de Drinko, Drinko de Mayo (May 5th). This is not Mexican Independence and unless you live in Puebla, this holiday is simply an excuse for a day off back home. However, in San Diego is a total celebration and we are uncertain of the reason behind it.
6. Taco Tuesday…ósea, ¿cómo? Do we need an exclusive day to eat tacos? Apparently San Diegans need to justify the fact that neither pizzas nor hot dogs or burgers are as good as a plate of tacos al pastor. Let’s avoid the whole “Mexican” food topic for now, yellow cheese? it´s so…intense.
7. Bonfires and s’mores. Honestly, we love them. This is as Californian as it can get! Yet the closest our intensas friends Paloma and Nancy had gotten to this gooey deliciousness (before trying some s’mores at Mission Bay) was burning some sausages.
8. Oh, and what about the beautiful mind blowing moment when you placed peanut butter and jelly between to slices of bread and took your first bite…yup.
9. Cheerleaders and football players. Letterman Jackets, oh, so American and…oh, so real. We thought it only happened in movies.
10. On a more serious topic, social classes. That guy with the awesome convertible? Hmm, he might be filthy rich or just have good credit (which is actually a very good thing). Back home, the rich are very rich, the poor are very poor. America: middle class rules, and that’s awesome. Hello Public School!
11. Thinking in Spanish, writing in English and vice versa. Forgetting words (even in your first language), not understanding movie lines, asking people to repeat what they said, answering “yes” to questions because you have no idea what was asked, mispronouncing words, starting your sentences with “how do you say”, not being able to explain your feelings or curse deliberately because the only English word available is f*ck…so latina, so intense, SoyIntensa.