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Mary E Lacey, Desertrat

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Culture Shock (Revised)
by Mary E Lacey, Desertrat

Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Mary E Lacey, Desertrat
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           >> View all 172

moving from one coast to another, strange.


A young teen moving from east to west,
First day of school, nervous as could be
Strange happenings, what would happen next?

Before I left my Maryland home, for one
last time I headed to the beach.  I stayed out
and soaked up the sun, for I knew it would
soon be out of reach.  A beautiful tan I received
that day, little did I know, what a difference
that would make.

Walking around my new school early in the morn,
several others looked at me.  They smiled and came
to talk and were as friendly as could be.  But I was in
for a little surprise, when they suddenly opened up my eyes.
My whole life I thought English was the country’s language,
Imagine my shock when everyone spoke Spanish!

The group realized I didn’t understand and with surprise said
“No habla espanol?!”  That’s when they realized I wasn’t like
them, I was a “gringa”, not a Mexican.  I got that all
the time because of that stupid tan.

People ate the strangest food, some folded thing they
called a taco.  I tried it, it was pretty good, but culture shock hit again.
 Laughter came at my expense, when I said “please pass the ketchup”

If you aren’t from the Southwest, there are things you should know.
Only eat hot sauce on your tacos.   They have refried beans.  I thought
this odd, couldn’t they fry them right the first time?

Living in the desert for 30 years now, my attitude has changed.  Tacos
are great with taco sauce, I even love refried beans.  Mexican fare is
the best, but there was a time I’d say, “How can people eat that mess?”

I never knew there would come a time when 70 degrees was cold.
Snowbirds in shorts, natives bundled like it was going to snow.
I’ve learned to love this place, even though I
miss the green and sometimes want to go.

They say home is where you’re at.  But I never thought I’d ever be
a certified Desert Rat!

                                  Mary E Lacey



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Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 1/18/2011
Make that talented & fun Desert Rat !!

Enjoyed this, Luv.

Makes me hungry for MORE !!

xOx Phyllis xOx
Reviewed by William Bonilla 1/10/2011
A kool informative write Mary
If you were from New York Transplanting yourself
anywhere in the states,
Nothing would have shocked you
because we have a bit of everything here
Enjoyed written your thoughts
Happy New Year
Love & peace

Reviewed by The Poetess 1/10/2011
Thanks for the laugh. This a good poem with a great sense of humor. I can relate as I've grazed the South Western USA, as well as Mexico, many times. Love the sun, the desert's freedom and hot sauce on real tacos. I miss them.
Reviewed by Darkest Angel (Reader) 9/10/2010
You tell stories very well, Mary. The connecting rhymes are just enough and never overbearing. This writing is long, to me, but it read well because of your skill in phrasing; with that, the poem seemed much more like a beautiful journey. I am glad you could find home in your new place. Enjoy ....
Reviewed by MaryGrace Patterson 9/2/2010
Thanks for sharing a part of your life with us. I really enjoyed reading this. I like tacos and refried beans also... We live in Fla....M
Reviewed by Lew Duffey 8/7/2010
I never knew there would come a time when 80 degrees was cold.
Mary, I am sur you remeber 80 degrees is still hot and humid.
I enjoyed your write.
God bless,
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 8/5/2010
I love this sharing of different cultures and the way you show how people can adapt, Mary. Thank you. Love and best wishes,

Reviewed by John Domino 7/31/2010
Home is where you hang my hat you make the best of where you're at!

You are doing it!

Reviewed by Inspire Hope 7/31/2010
You made me smile Mary! I sure can relate to this too!
I really enjoyed this read! Be encouraged Mary and thanks
for sharing!

Much Love,
Reviewed by Swan Son 7/18/2010
Nice story, Mary ..... a good pointer .... we all think the "other person" is the stranger ..... you learned the hard way. Hope the transition was easy. Long run .... you sound like you have been "converted". Susan
Reviewed by Dawn Anderson 7/18/2010
Mexican favorite! And here I am, living in Italy! Good writing, Mary.
Reviewed by Jon Willey 7/16/2010
Mary, complex reactions you have related with great simplicity and ease. You have sated my diversity palate. May peace and love be always with you my friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Tom Hyland 7/16/2010
MARY ...

Reviewed by Sandie Angel 7/16/2010

This one is written with tongue-in-cheek good humour, and yet the feeling is oh-so-true!! I've got a good chuckle from reading your words!! Loved this!!

Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by J'nia Fowler 7/15/2010
I enjoyed this tale so much Mary. Well done. Thank you for sharing it with us. Hugs, J'nia
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 7/14/2010
I am not a lover of mexican cuisine. I still love my Italian food I was raised on. But I do like Mexico, it's people and there culture. After living in Phoenix for 19 years I am quite used to other foods. This was a very fine writing, MARY.

Reviewed by Jeanette Cooper 7/14/2010
I can just imagine what a "cultural shock" your experience must have been. I went down to Miami once with some friends of mine who were from Cuba and visited her family. None of them spoke English and I experienced a little cultural shock myself. But I'm sure it's nothing like becoming a resident where everyone speaks another language except you.

I love your expression about the refried beans; "Couldn't they refry them right the first time."
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 7/14/2010
Sounds like your a happy Desert Rat now. My spouse had the exact opposite experience. She hails from the great Southwest, and now lives in the northland. She introduced me to the many marvels out your way, including the marvelous cuisine, and I've introduced her to the great northwood. She still calls me 'Gringo,' and I call her 'Vieja!' I love America's marvelous diversity.
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 7/13/2010
great shock Mary, had some tacos today, of course it's no fun when people waiting on you don't speak or undertand, cheerio
Reviewed by David Maclellan 7/13/2010
What a great little story Mary. Being an Aussie, I am gaining a geographical and cultural insight to the USA through the poetry I read on AD. Loved it!
Warm regards,
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/13/2010
I hate Mexican food: I can't have it -- the smell of jalapenos causes my throat to constrict, and my twin sis is highly allergic to it. If she is around jalapenos, her eyes water and swell shut, and she can't breathe. So we avoid it like the plague. And we both have a huge problem with Mexicans not speaking our language when they are living/working here. And we don't like the heat here in Texas: we'd both give anything to move back north! Glad you are assimilating, because we sure aren't!

Great write; well done!

(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Tx., Karen Lynn. :(
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 7/13/2010
What a story Mary, sometimes change is easilt accepted and other times home will always be home. Great write.

Newfie hugs, Rose
Reviewed by John Flanagan 7/13/2010
Lovely rendering, Mary, the whole work is alive with natural reactions and feelings. I can relate so well to this.

Reviewed by Felix Perry 7/13/2010
Love it, I could never leave my Nova Scotia home and the sound of the Atlanic Ocean's surf surrounding me but I am looking forward to going to Texas in Nov, first time I have been further south than Portland Maine. lol
Reviewed by Paul Berube 7/13/2010
I can relate to that, Mary. Well done.

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