While I will become “gringa” in this new life, I can’t erase how my upbringing in Manhattan has shaped me and will forever remain a part of how I experience other cities.
UrbanDictionary.com defines Manhattanite as the following:
A resident of Manhattan, either being a member of an elite family or having a six-figure salary, this person’s agenda is generally frequented by occasions such as cocktail parties that drag into the early hours of the morning, brunch, and endless afternoons with immediate friends in the Hamptons, Westchester, the country estate, or on the yacht. This person has no conception of how the middle class survives and never wants to think about it. Most call the Upper East Side home…they are a gay and fun loving bunch when you get to know them well enough.
This is a very stereotypical Manhattanite definition, and all I can do is laugh! And for its absurdness, I thought it worth posting. While I am none of these things, I consider myself a Manhattanite because:
1) I had the unique childhood experience of growing up in Manhattan, one that often makes me subconsciously unaffected by the sensory overload, congestion, and strange occurances/people in the streets of other big cities. It has ingrained in me a whole lot of street smarts and life lessons that go with me to every city I visit, easing my adaptation into new environments and situations.
2) The passion and great love I have for my city – it’s diversity, cultural sophistication, intensity, progressiveness, and amazing ability to never make me feel alone despite the anonymity of the millions of inhabitants buzzing about this tiny island. It’s a place I sense that I will forever call home. While my blog will explore new adventures in Buenos Aires, I will always be reminded of the Big Apple.
UrbanDictionary.com defines Gringa as the following:
The spanish definition for a white female usually used for english speaking persons, it doesn’t matter if she is american, italian, french or whatever as long as she is white and speaks any other language different from Spanish.
Again, I am really interpreting these definitions with a sense of humor. The reality is, gringa is how I am referred to in the Latin world and it’s not all that bad. A well-circulated story on the origins of this word is that during the Mexican-American War the Mexicans, who knew little English, shouted at the Americans (dressed in green uniforms) “Green go!” to tell them to leave their country. I’m not sure as to the authenticity of this story, but nevertheless it’s an amusing and plausible one.
For me, being called “gringa” signifies the feeling of being an outsider – something I can’t explain but a feeling that has always excited and intrigued me. It’s one of the things I have always loved about living abroad and will talk about throughout this blog.