I recently read the book ¡Ask a Mexican! by Gustavo Arellano. Even though I consider myself to be of the Mexican persuasion, I learned so much about Mexicans! I didn’t realize how little I knew about Mexicans despite the fact that I am Mexican. Well, after reading this book, I underwent another identity crisis about my being American and mi mexicanidad. I am fully fluent in Spanish and English, but I don’t feel that I speak either language like a native speaker! Perhaps that’s just me being me whenever I read about Mexicans writing about Mexicans.
Anyway, this politically incorrect book provides “questions and answers about our spiciest Americans” such as: Why aren’t there Mexicans on Star Trek? Will Mexicans eat anything without hot sauce? How come so many Mexicans send their money to Mexico? Why do Mexicans swim in the ocean with their clothes on? What part of illegal don’t Mexicans understand?
I really enjoyed reading the book because I learned a lot of new swear words in Spanish that only Mexicans use because they invented them. Mexicans are known worldwide for using the most profanities of all Spanish speakers in their everyday speech–I really should learn this new vocabulary so that I may curse fluently the next time I go to Mexico. Actually, there’s a very good chance that I’ll probably meet a Mexican before I come back home tonight, so I should memorize these words immediately. I find it ironic that people who don’t speak Spanish listen to the busboys, landscapers, or laborers swearing at each other and then think that Spanish is a beautiful language. I’ve listened to these Mexicans “communicating” and at least every fourth word is a profanity! However, the language does sound beautiful and elegant because they are speaking a romance language.