In my many writings about the social graces in Mexican culture, one of the ones I find kind of charming is the use of the phrase “Hasta Luego” (see you later) in place of “Adios” (goodbye). In other Spanish speaking cultures (such as Spain for instance) it is perfectly acceptable to say “Adios” when taking leave of a friend, a shop or restaurant, a party, what have you. But here in Mexico it is considered somewhat rude to use this word “Adios”, because it has an air of finality to it. “Hasta luego” implies that we are friends, or at least on good enough terms to (want to) see each other again in the future. It leaves open possibilities for interaction that “Adios” does not.
It is also perfectly suited to my feelings about Mexico and possible return. In the last 5 months I have been fortunate to learn many wonderful things here. Mexico is so underrated, and in so many ways. Mexico City itself is to me one of the world’s great cities, and it is a shame that it has such a distorted reputation in the rest of the world (especially the US). My Spanish has definitely improved a ton, but I still have a ways to go before feeling as fluent as I do in French. And I still feel there is more to discover of Mexico and its culture. For these and many other reasons I may be back after my trip north for a month or two.
My flight leaves for Los Angeles in a few hours, and I am a little sad to be leaving all this (and excited to see my friends in LA), but let’s not dwell on it or think about it in any permanent sort of way. Let’s just say “Hasta Luego”, Mexico, until we meet again.