I came to a realization a couple weeks ago as I was brushing my teeth in a hotel bathroom in front of a mirror. First of all, you should know that no sink in my house has a mirror in front of it. In fact, the two mirrors I have had have broken: one poorly packed in a move, and one as I slammed a door to escape someone. Fortunately, I'm not superstitious. However, when I moved into the house I currently live in, the previous renters had left behind a dresser with a mirror. They told me someone would be coming to pick it up; a year and a half later, I'm doubtful. Anyway, since I don't touch it, the mirror is quite dirty after two dry seasons hitting it with dust; so it's not like I see much in it anyway.
Anyway, looking in this mirror in the hotel bathroom, I suddenly realized that I am white. Admittedly, I have somewhat of a perma-tan going; although, compared to my friend Ashley who after just one year in Guatemala rivaled the skin color of our only mutual Guatemalan friend, I'm pretty pale.
But this doesn't really have anything to do with the physical color of my skin. This has to do with the fact that when I wake up in the morning, I wake up like any Guatemalan.
When I take a shower, I take a shower like any Guatemalan...including, still, cold water.
When I wash my clothes, I wash them like any Guatemalan...by hand.
When I wash my dishes, I wash them like any Guatemalan...by hand.
When I speak Spanish, I speak it like any Guatemalan.
Most everything I do, I do like any Guatemalan. So, when I look in the mirror and see a white girl, well, it surprises me.