After residing here in Mexico for several years I can boastfully claim that I shed my tourist identity a long time ago. Each return visit to my native United States becomes an out of body experience as I progressively feel more like an outsider; though I haven't fully assimilated the culture of the place that has become my new home since the year 2000, I don't feel as "American" as I once had. Not that I am anti-American. What I mean is that I simply don't see the world like I used to; I no longer take many things for granted as I once did. Some of my compatriots back home, if not many, behave as if they have a right to security, peace, and prosperity having no idea that in some ways that life is the exception when compared to what other folks --as human as themselves-- face in other parts of the world. My Mexico experience hasn't been an easy road: I've had to battle my inner streaks of ethnocentrism, adapt to a different way of seeing the world, to a whole new set of realities. All this has served to help shape who I am today, even towards personal growth.
Something I've had to get used to are the lumpy, pot-holed streets of Mexico City's roads which can make you quite deft at defensive driving as you are forced to add this to the list of potentially hazardous phenomena to watch out for when traversing this urban chaos. The above image illustrates an act of solidarity where folks will warn others of a danger ahead. Sadly, a lack of proper street lighting at night may foster the very accident the protrusion was signaling you to avoid.