My parents, being from Mexico, unconventionally spelled my name “Alexandra” instead of “Alejandra.” My mother would make the point that Mexico, in Spanish, was pronounced “meh-hee-coh”—meaning, the “x” had a “j” sound (the “j” sound in Spanish is equivalent to the “h” sound in English). Although, to be fair, the “x” in every other Spanish word has the “ks” sound (conexión, xilófono, etc.).
NOTE: This article was originally published in LatinoMetro on June 7, 2012, three years ago today. Daniel and I later joked that I had unintentionally written myself into the article. Little did I know that I had literally written myself into his life. We’ve now embarked into a new chapter, where we collaborate on creative projects, as well as the great project of living life on this earth.
Several years ago, I ran across the written work of Daniel Reyes, when I started to get serious about my own blog – Chronicles of Undercover Mexican Girl. I was curious. Who was out there? Was there anybody else like me? Were there any “Latino” writers trying to make sense of their cultural identities, re-capture childhood experiences, document present-day adventures?
He was fascinated with the U.S.-Mexico border in general, but he was especially fascinated with the music and the concept that it was a militarized zone to keep out the Mexicans. He even wrote a song about it, written in an ironic sort of way that both small town conservatives and big city liberals seemed to enjoy.
Growing up Mexican in America can be confusing. Even if the U.S. Census tells you you’re “white,” you don’t really see your kind of “white” on television or film.
I used to be ashamed of living in South El Monte, California, a predominantly working class, Mexican American suburb of Los Angeles. As a child, I felt that my classmates and neighbors weren’t cultured or educated enough. The city itself was an eyesore, with block after block of light industrial manufacturing, a gritty crossroads of the 10, 60, and 605 freeways. The Catholic school I attended from first through eighth grade didn’t have a music or art program, and our textbooks were outdated and falling apart.
2316 South 1st St.
Austin, TX 78704
El Tacorrido Sur | South Austin
- Meat: smooth and honeycomb, a bit on rubbery side
- Hominy: yes, but hardly enough
- Broth: greasy
- Toppings: cilantro (too any stems), limes, and onion (you may be able to request jalapeño)
- Tortillas: mediocre
- Availability: weekends only
- Price: $4.50 for a small bowl / $6.50 for a large bowl