Last updateFri, 07 Aug 2020 12pm

Hello again, my good friend, uh!

Social distancing causes one huge problem for me. Forgetting people’s names. Especially for people who were once important in your life.

You run into them months after hiding from the virus and you don’t recognize them. They have to remind you that they once saved your life by providing you a kidney. This is embarrassing.

Here in Mexico, getting names right can become even more complicated because Mexicans often use several paternal and maternal surnames together out of respect to all their various lineages. Compounding this, Mexican first names are interchanged with what are called nombres hipocoristicos or pet names. Francisco becomes Paco. Jesus becomes Chuy (pronounced Choowee), Eduardo becomes Lalo.  And Jorge Francisco Alejandre Flores Rodriguez might answer to ... George.

It’s a challenge for us elderly gringos, befogged by solitary confinement and the smell of hand sanitizer.

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