I've experienced just the tip of the iceberg (or cactus I guess I should say) when it comes to Mexican culture. They're right THERE next to us on our border but my goodness the second you step over the line it really is a different world.
Small shops that feature things for witches and herbalists are ALL OVER the place down there - and until going I really didn't know things like that exist. Yeah, I've heard of the voodoo stuff in New Orleans but damn, these people seem to honestly be IN TO it.
I love the shops like the ones above. (click the pic it get's big and you can see shit) It's got everything from devil worship to beautiful Mother Mary's and just a CRAZY amount of potions and elixirs and herbs (and apparently a baby stroller :P) for people to choose from. I'm not really into that sort of thing but I am intensely curious about the herbs and potions and what-not and what they're supposed to cure.
They do love Kentucky Fried Chicken down there - maybe it has something to do with the 11 herbs and spices. - gufaww-
For real though, check out this mo-fo! I don't have my memory card so I can't blow up this damn picture properly but in front of this dude there is a big glass of water with 3 limes floating in it.
Like, not sliced limes for drinking, but some weird witch mexican voo-doo shit. Isn't that NEATO???
I was reading a book about mexican culture this week and a woman was telling a story about how her neighbor was pissed at her for opening up a store in her house - so the neighbor went to a Bruja (witch) and the bruja gave her a spell to do. The lady comes out of her house one morning to find scrambled raw eggs in the shape of a star in front of her house on the road. SHIT !! Naturally the lady went to a bruja of her OWN and got a counter spell. (naturally of course)
I wonder if I'll have people putting bruja hits out on me because I'm white and I'm going to blast some Evanescence and Toby Keith out in my back yard?
Chino isn't totally exempt from all of this. When I first met him I remember he was having some kidney problems - he said they hurt - and he told me that he went to an mexican herbalist in Chicago who gave him some -herbs- and told him to drink a lot of water. I of course in all of my gigantic-western-medicine-white-ness had a flying flip and told him that he'd die if he took those herbs and he NEEDED TO GO to a damn doctor. It was too late though, he had already taken them and was in fact - fine. Huh.
A while later he had a sore tooth and our neighbor lady gave him a poultice to pack around it in his mouth. I screamed "FREAKS" again but he did it and it did help him with the pain. I decided right there that I'd be making my own poultices for him now on. The next time he gets a bad tooth I'm going to grind up some harmless basil or grass or something and mix it with a good ole dose of AMBESOL. I'll get me a little "potion" booklet and his ass will never know. Problem. Solved. I'm open minded and curious but I'm not risking him putting BRUJA knows what in his body.
Now, let's talk animal sacrifices. THIS shit will REALLY freak you out! I guess they DID come form the Aztecs so it sort of makes sense why they'd adapt into it but - Ok, okaayy so this was in a restaurant (in a MALL) and they were just cooking strung-up goat. Talk about a damn surprise though - "Hey sweetie want to stop in to JC Penny's for a sec? Oh your hungry, alright let's check out this little cafe." I'll stick with american food courts thank you very much. Damn.
Mexico is going to be interesting if anything. I hope I can make friends with a witch. That'd be cool.