Interview with Liz Toscano

General Medical Practitioner

Mexico City, Mexico

Where did you live before moving back to Mexico?
Zurich, Switzerland

How long did you live there?
5 years

What did you learn during your stay abroad?
That every culture is unique and has its strengths and weaknesses. Some cultures are very civilized, respectful and polite, but in Switzerland they are cold and impersonal. But because they are taught to be respectful from childhood, rules and laws are followed to the letter and everything works well, there are good public services, things are clean and orderly and people take pride in their work.

What we need to understand and / or change as Mexicans?
We need to have respect for others, laws and rules, and more tolerance for others. We need to be united by a common good and understand that we are stronger united than we are as selfish and malicious individuals.

What makes us unique?
Our warmth, sparkle, wit, pride and even cunning are uniquely Mexican. They unite us as a people and transcend cultural and socioeconomic classes.

What did you miss most about Mexico?
The food, the noise and my family.

What prompted you to return to Mexico?
Nostalgia for what I had left behind and better opportunities in my own country.

On your return, what surprised and disappointed you the most?
What surprised me most was the warmth and appreciation that people give you if you provide them a service. And what was more than disappointing was to see how bad things are and how much we all complain and just add to the chaos.

What was the biggest challenge you had to face when you return?
Accepting that many things did not change, I was the one who changed and the things that used to seem "normal" now bother me because I know that they are wrong, but here everyone thinks they are right and that the laws do not apply to them. I literally feel like I’m “neither here nor there.”

Where things how you expected when you returned?
No, definitely things were not as I expected; I managed to get by, but not according to my plan.

I know my answers sound very negative, but sadly this is what it feels like to go back and discover the reality is not the same as your memories. That the resentment and envy that’s around you make life difficult and make you feel disappointed in your countrymen. It’s what it feels like to believe that in another country you would live better.

Interview with Liz Toscano for Caras de México. Click here to read more articles and interviews exploring the Mexican Identity.