When I was living in McComb, Mississippi, it was more and more common to see a group of Latinos at Wal-Mart…. I am not sure they were Mexican or not… but for this story we will pretend they were. They would move in a pack doing their shopping. Occasionally one would break from the heard. I would almost see fear in his eyes until he returned to the group. When together they would laugh and enjoy their time at Wal-Mart, just like us local Rednecks! Wal-Mart can sometimes be social and entertaining for anyone – a way to pass some time. For many they may not understand the simple joy of killing some time at Wal-Mart and maybe even seeing friends to catch up with. But for some, spending time in Wal-Mart is fun and entertaining. I see these Mexicans finding this simple way to enjoy some time. They keep to themselves, speaking Spanish, and usually they are having a great time.
I remember at time when I would walk through Wal-Mart looking for things I did not need. Now in Bogotá, I find that simple pleasure for myself again. Here instead of Wal-Mart, it is called Exito. Sometimes I am alone in Exito and have a fear in my eyes expressing please do not talk to me! But I spend time looking, reading Spanish packages translating to myself, and sometimes laughing at the similarities between cultures…. I found myself thinking – I am like one of those Mexicans in Wal-Mart back in McComb. There are people who say they should go back where they came from and I see that look sometimes myself. Sometimes I get a look from someone who says…. I remember exploring Exito and enjoying it. I see a look of I hope this guy is enjoying Bogotá.
But now, I hope that next time I see Mexicans in Wal-Mart I will give a look of welcome with a smile and maybe even say in Spanish – hello (hola) because I know how that kind of small gesture can improve my day. I am in Colombia looking for a better life and I hope anyone that seeks to improve their life receives support from the new location whether it is just a new city, new state or even a new country! I hope they can find a better life also! As Immagration Reform becomes a topic in the U.S., I hope people will think that immigration is a good thing. People make changes like moving to a new country to have netter lives. Like my wish with healthcare…. I hope people learn how blessed some are and we can SHARE! We can share healthcare and our country. Try to remember a simpler time in your life and try recreating it… enjoy it again. Everyone deserves to be happy – even Mexicans in an American Wal-Mart!