Thursday, September 25, 2008

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.


~ellen~ said...

There are a couple of shops like that here in Orlando, and they creep me out. Frankly, anyone casting a spell or making a potion scares me a little.

I can't wait to read your posts about living in Mexico! I am sure it's going to be culture shock for you for a while. But I know you and your sweetie are going to love being together, and it'll all be a happy adventure for you.


Krissie said...

Wait... did you move already?

And ew, dead animals. Wait. Oh yeah, never mind. My Mom used to slaughter chickens for a living.

Ryan said...

Now I can't go to mexico. This witch stuff scares the ever loving crap out of me.

The bigger problem is that I would go into a shop and ask "What's all the bruja ha?" and then I would wind up with hairy eyelids and pissing yogurt due to a curse.

Sarah said...

I am just stopping by to say damn your life is crazy. :)

Lindy said...

Ellen - I love the shops but yeah, a person casting spells would flip me out too. Culture shock yes, but hey we know I won't be leaving the house for like a week anywyas ;) :p so I'll have a little time :) '

Krissie- no those were the pics from one of my trips down there this summer.
And hey! I always used to help my Dad with the chicken killing (we raised them for food) I thought it was great when they'd run around with their heads cut off. lol what a thing to put on her resume right? :)

Ryan - "bruja ha" LMAO !! AAHAHHAHA I know right?? bwaaaaa!!! :p omg you crack me up :)

Sarah -why yes it is :P and thank you :)

Lindy said...

OHH !! Sarah from HO-KAY !! I didn't know who you were! LMAO that's hilarious because I've always thought YOU had the crazy life! Or, at least fun as hell. :)

Effortlessly Average said...

I clicked on the picture and I gotta say, that's what I look for in my religious curio shoppes: baggies of pot sold under a cross with Jesus nailed to it. heh.

Effortlessly Average said...

And while I'm thinking about it, here I thought it was God who was causing my skin to itch every time I got near a church. Turns out it's the Mexicans! What a relief. I think...

Lindy said...

Effort - Damn it was that pot????? CRAP ! Who knew? Huh, no wonder the food is great down there.

And no, that itching is crabs.

jill said...

Hi Lindy, I tried to get on another blog today and need to invited...can you invite me? Thanks jill

Helen said...

You know, the same stuff happens to me when I go to visit the inlaws in DC. No goats strung up in the food courts, but you do see some similar weirdness.

Puerto Rico was a bit like this as well, but not as scary as DC. Maybe it was the politicians that scared me. Who knows?

Sassy Blondie said...

I'm with EA...that was totally Jesus Pot!

Suki said...

Hey Chica, what's up at your end? No updates for a while now!

Jafro Smurf said...

Hi Lindy,

Great post. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us. Still catching up with your older posts, but I am waiting for invite to read them. Thanks Keith

Suki said...

Hey Lindy, long time no hear. What's going on?