Friday, January 18, 2008

A Bone of leg of meat

I went back to the meat market and picked up my 225 g of bone of leg of meat this morning, he did not have coffee on and the usual gang was hangin out. The young gentleman (I forgot to get his name) was very helpful (of course he asked me where I live.....why do they always need to know this?) and even cut it up into small pieces for me. This went into my crock pot with beans, onions, some jalapeño pepper and some lard (yes, lard.....don’t you judge me, when in Mexico do as the Mexicans do) the recipe called for maple syrup and mustard but I didn’t have any. It ended up being very very good, and I still have some bone of leg of meat in my freezer, I didn’t use it all.
Here’s a little Mexican culture tip that I need to work on.
Mexicans love idle chitchat and niceties. (Yes that is a word) When you pass a person on the street there is no such thing as just saying a quick “Hi” as you walk by, if you’re going to say hi, you are expected to stop and shake hands and say “good morning, how are you” then comes the reply “good morning, fine thank-you” now you’re going to continue walking so you shake hands again and say good-bye. If you are not prepared to do all this do not even look the person in the eye just keep walking, and do not say “hi”. When you approach a person to ask them something, whether it’s directions for someplace or you want to ask the meat guy for meat or the produce guy for some lettuce, you do not just walk up to him and say “hey, do you have any lettuce today”, you are again expected to go through the whole nice routine first, the hand shake, the greeting, and then you ask for lettuce and then the hand shake again and the good-bye, even if you just talked to him ½ hour ago on the other street, you must go through the routine. Plus, if you have met this person before or if someone that already knows this person introduces you, you also get a kiss on the cheek and are expected to kiss on the cheek back and from then on for ever and ever every time you meet this person there is cheek kissing. I’m not sure I’ll get used to this; do you know how many people I meet on Sunday at church? Remember I’m the greeter. You can choose not to participate in this but then you are known as the rude gringo and the Mexicans tend not to be as helpful......and I need all the help I can get these days. So I must remember to slow down, what’s my hurry anyway? I remembered after I left the meat market that I had forgotten to go through that whole routine with him so I must remember to do that next time or I’ll be labelled as the rude gringa in the neighbourhood and then who knows what kind of meat he’ll sell me. I also had a conversation with the shrimp guy this morning (didn’t buy any shrimp) and skipped the whole routine and cut right to the chase, “when do the boats stop running at night?” was what I needed to know, I don’t want to get stranded on the other side late at night. He was most helpful and according to my Spanish the boats run until midnight and then stop for “a little bit” and then for the rest of the night they run only one boat. I could not get how long “a little bit” is out of him. If you need a boat and it’s sitting at the other end you wave your hand in front of the light on the ticket booth, the flickering is the signal for the boat to come back. I love how most things are so simple here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to make a small note. When you pass someone in the street and don't have time to stop and chat, which is often the case when on an errand or appointment, what the Mexican's do is say "Adios!" cheerfully as they pass. That works for hello, nice to see you and goodbye, all at once and signifies no time to stop and chat. If you listen, you will here this often. A Mexican would NEVER pass by, look down, and pretend to not see someone he knows just because he was busy... unless he was not speaking to that person.