Gringa Frijolera

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Pura Roja

Memo and I met in a village of 180 families right smack dab on the El Salvador-Guatemala border. I've stopped trying to make sense of the fact that we bumped into eachother and fell in love under strenuous circumstances and strict cultural guidelines. Ni modos (Salvadoran for "whatever") we're happy as clams in a pea pod- how's that for a cliche remix?

Memo left the village when I did, followed me to the big city where we've been shacking up ever since- I work, he goes to school. Its interesting to me that after all this time we still learn things about each other and our "country come to town" outlook on life has made these last 10 months in the city surprisingly full of, well, surprises.

El Salvador is admist a highly charged political campain. Old trucks and moving vans with huge, beat up speakers on top rumble through town playing the Top Pop Hits and announcing the names of their candidates. Often times, the trucks are followed in caravan by honking cars and screaming teenagers. Sleep is sacred.

Inevitably everyone is talking about politics, the election, corruption- its absolutely unescapable.

So at night when we're watching the news and I scream at the TV about what a moron Salvadoran President Tony Saca is for saying that "a vote for Arena is a vote for me" and I sit in disgust thinking that a president should represent all of the people, not just those from his party Memo turns to me slightly and says "you're all red- pura roja."

He grew up in an enviornment where the words communist and leftist and liberal were the harshest of all insults and yet slowly but surely he's beginning to see that maybe, just maybe, all the lies he's been told all of his life are indeed that- lies.

Maybe its because Memo is going to school and learning more about how the world works, maybe its city life that exposes him to new ideas and new types of people. I like to think that his political leanings are changing out of a pure curiousity about the woman he loves.

Perhaps he asks himself why I get so worked up about this stuff and why a gringa whose spent the last 4 years of her life living in El Salvador could side with the political party that LEAST resembles any of those that exist in her country. Perhaps he sees how the left represents the ideals we share in our home.

Perhaps he just plain thinks its hot when I get all crazy about politics and wants to tag along for the ride.


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