¿Qué onda, guero?


I’m becoming more accustomed to a name that I get called here even more than Ypts. No, not Jeff…guero, which essentially means “whitey” (masculine, the female version of the word is “guerra.”) I’m fairly certain that I’ve been “guero” since we arrived, but I’ve finally come to a point where I can both talk and listen simultaneously (sometimes), and this awareness to my surroundings has caused a Renaissance of “guero” in my life, especially to the fruit sellers at the market. Didn’t you know? “Guero” needs to try every seller’s papaya, guava, cantaloupe, mamey, etc.

“Come on, guero, the little ones are only 30 pesos!”

“No, thank you. You’re very nice.”

“Please, guero.”

…and so on.

Another word they use a lot in Mexican slang is guey. “Guero” is pronounced “hue-ro” or “we-ro” and “guey” is pronounced “way”. “Guey” is kind of like “dude.” “Cool, dude.” is “Chido guey.” Walk around Mexico and you’ll hear “guey” come up quite a bit in casual conversation. “Like, dude, man!”…guey.

Also, just as in English where it’s common to ask someone how they are doing when saying hello, they do the same here. In Mexico, the known “¿Comó estás?” or “¿Qué pasa?” is more recently “¿Qué onda?”…basically, “What’s up?”


I am glad that Mary E. is blogging about our trip to the soccer game. It was a really neat experience to go see a big game at a huge stadium in Mexico City, but I’ve been to major league soccer games before, and she hasn’t. I enjoyed my trip to the game, but I also enjoyed experiencing it with her as she was seeing many new things.

We even left our apartment on time to get to the game…barely!

You see, that morning I needed to take a stroll around our barrio to a cajero (ATM) where I could grab some cash. In Mexico, you would be surprised how many places accept credit cards ONLY if you assumed that nobody does. I am of course joking around a bit, but, really, you always need cash. Oh, and ATMs routinely dispense big bills like 200 or 500 pesos, which many places cannot change…chido guey.

Anyway, I know the path to the bank that we usually take, but while making the trip in the morning, my eyes gleaned onto a side street that I never saw before which runs parallel to the street on which I was to turn. So I turned early and discovered a plethora of previously unknown bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, eventually arriving at our bank. Bolstered by my success, I tried to do the same on my way back, and I found even more cool places like cantinas, shops, and even a Krispy Kreme! However, I also got sort of…lost. Now, I don’t really get lost in a literal sense because I am always able to back track (I don’t let myself get more lost than that), but usually I do get so far out that I know that there’s a fast(er) way to where I am trying to go, and backtracking, though 100% guaranteed, would waste even more time than I already spent exploring.

In essence, the streets in our area almost make a spiderweb. My instincts tell me what direction to go, and they’re usually right…ish. What my gut does not take into account is that, for example if I think that I’m going east I’m usually going east, but also going south (sometimes moreso than east, and I’m generally unaware of it). Streets intersect into asterisks and so forth and it can be really easy (for me) to get turned around. Maps help, but they’re even tricky to read here if I have one.

For the morning of the soccer game I finally ended up finding a street that I knew, but I was so far out that I turned the wrong direction (which I thought was correct) until I came to the very place where the very looooooong street stops(!?). I had the sense to turn around and took a *nice*, unexpected jog (accompanied with 2 doughnuts, of course), arriving home with about 15 minutes to spare before we left for the game!


So, I’m not offended by hearing “¿Qué onda, guero?”, because, at any given time, I probably have no idea where I am or what I’m doing.


One response »

  1. I’m sure you have many fewer instances like that than we would! It’s one of the few biggest cities in the world–how could you know where you’re going after just a few months? I think by the time you guys leave you’ll just be getting around to figuring everything out. Perfect timing, eh?

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