Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Picture A Day - Mexico in February 2010 - February 13th

One of the more enjoyable facets of compiling this photo diary is thinking I know which picture I'm going to publish, and then having something pop up unexpectedly. I had a couple of good ones, but I saw this around 3pm today and knew this would be the pic of the day.

'Fresa' in Spanish means strawberry. But if you hear the word in Mexico, it generally refers to a class of people (Wikipedia):

Fresa (which is Spanish for strawberry) is a slang term often used in Mexico for a cultural stereotype of superficiality to youngsters of whom many come from a high class and educated family.

The term fresa (then often likened to the "preppy" stereotype), was born in the 60's to define teenagers with a conservative mentality, who didn't drink and enjoyed being from traditional families. During the 80's the meaning changed and became a term to describe the lifestyles of the young and rich.

The fresa accent is also different (faked) from the typical slow-pitched Mexican accent, with a higher established accent, different tone and "proper" vocabulary.

In her semi-autobiographical debut novel, 'Mexican High,' Liza Monroy describes the life of the daughter of an American diplomat, attending The American School, perhaps the capital of fresa-dom. The novel, written in English, is very entertaining and is a really interesting look at life in Mexico City, including the over-the-top excesses of some of the school's student. There's an American diplomat family at my church, and one of their sons (who is a senior at The American School) said that the book is rather accurate. I definitely recommend reading it.

I've often been told that, for a variety of reasons, I am super gringo. Do they think that's supposed to be some sort of insightful statement? One thing I really love about being here is playing up the 'Dumb American' routine (something many would argue is not a stretch for me). Somehow, I was shocked to find out that I didn't quite blend in at a party last night. With this shirt, and perhaps the loss of the ability to follow through on any sort of plans whatsoever, I thought I was a lock to become puro mexicano.


Last night a girl told me I was a total fresa. I couldn't have asked for a better compliment.

Here's the link to the rest of the album.


  1. Hola Drew!
    Liza Monroy gave you a "shout out" on her website for your praise of MEXICAN HIGH.

    take a look by going to and see what else she is writing about.

    saludos desde lejos (Madrid)

  2. Hola Drew -
    Liza Monroy gave you a "shout out" on her website for praising MEXICAN HIGH - her first novel.
    Take a look and see what else she is up to and writing -



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