Tío, please mija, tío. I think I put my foot in it! You are the first to call me abuelo. But, I asked for it. I'm 53. Not quite ready to be called abuelito, but it does have a nice sound. And thanks for the hug.
Here en Los Estados Unidos it can be confusing.
I know what you mean. I have long years of experience in Estados Unidos. However, to even suggest that people of various ethnicities are not "real Americans" can almost get you killed too!
Here, as in the US, Canada and other nations, the sense of national identity is very strong. Mexico is regarded as the leading Latin American nation (at least by us). I spoke with the Guatemalan consul one time about a trip to Guatemala. In the converstion, he said that for them (the Central American nations), having a Mexican passport was about like having a US passport. Mexico weilds a lot of influence politically and economically south of the border.
We love our country in the same way US citizens love theirs. We have a lot of problems but we prefer to deal with them in our own way.
There is a lot of racial intolerance here too. Think of the US in the 50's and before when people would talk about "that chinaman" or "the Polack" and you see about where we are as far as PC goes.
I've also done the thing where you speak the language in front of the person who thought you couldn't. It can be hilarious. It has also back-fired on me.
I tend to worry about the individual soldiers (all the military) who will go to Irak. Opinion is divided here. Most, however, don't want to see a war. We also have countrymen who are in the US military. Relatives by blood, family members.
On the other side we feel for the civilians (and the conscripted soldiers) who will be "in the line of fire" in Irak. But of course, we worry about our "cousins" up there in Gringolandia. US citizens are often referred to as "our cousins" here. Sort of a joke but not too far off the mark.
I also look forward to crossing keyboards with you more in the future, mija. I read almost all of your posts. Problem for me is that my time is limited and it is hard for me to reply to every post I would like to reply to.
P.S. This is NOT a correction, only an observation. In Mexico we spell the word with an "x". It is a hold-over from the 15th century. Some names like Xavier sometimes are spelled this way and retain the hard "h" sound. But, I know that in most other countries they spell it "Mejico".
P.P.S. Another thing. Have you ever gone to Canada and said something like "American money" or something similar? I have and was immediately told that "We are also Americans". Same thing here and also down to the tip of South America. We are too, by definition, "Americans". In Mexico, we are not only "Americans" but we are "North Americans", living in the United States (of Mexico): It's true!
I think you are probably well aware of the things I have said. Sometimes, though, I just feel like "setting the record straight". Just the mutterings of an old man... No, wait! I'm not so old yet!