Dónde estoy?

It is pretty confusing being in Mexico and talking to people about where you are. I *thought* I’d learned from my friends back home that proper nomenclature for the capital city was “DF” (pronounced day-eff-ay), much like our own nation’s political center, D.C. Here the abbreviation refers to distrito federal rather than the District of Columbia (and really, who apart from D.C. residents knows this?). I quickly discovered referring to the capital city as DF was not actually the case outside of Mexico City.  When I told people down south that my next stop, they looked at me quizzically until I stammered out “Uuh, la ciudad de México? La capital?” Right. Let’s have some consistency, people.

In Oaxaca, people confusingly referred to the capital as “México.” And here I thought I was already in Mexico. This would be the equivalent of being in Baltimore and saying “I’m going to America,” adding to the multiplying confusion of analogies because Mexico is los Estados Unidos de México. You can’t even say “Estados Unidos” because that’s the polite way of saying the US (“America” doesn’t really fly). Basically, you can’t talk about where you are, nor refer to the capital because everybody’s federal government in the Americas is set up in a vaguely similar fashion. Damn new-world representative democracies.

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