January 16, 2012

Old Mexican Wives Tales

My mother had a whole set of wives tales of what would make you sick. Sitting on the lawn is something guaranteed to make you sick, was one. Here in Mexico, I have learned to listen to the old wives tales, but didn't dig deeper. It might have helped if I had.
I have a cold from being caught in the rain two consecutive days. My logical mind says that's not so. The mind of the retired doctor staying here also says that's not so.
So, as this cold was festering, I took my house guests to Chuuk Kay Restaurante for happy hour yesterday with the Band Without a Name.
Marla, the place's internet consultant and occasional vocalist, was recovering from bronchitis. And so we started, with the band and audience, recounting how you get sick according to Mexican wives. You get colds from drinking water with ice in it, offered Tosso, Javier's dad.
If you get caught in the rain, you will get sick. Unless you take a shower afterward, said Javier Martinez. Makes sense to me since tropical clouds are warm and incubators of diseases from afar. We know that from hurricanes. Or more correctly, I do.
Hot tea with lime and honey will cure a cold. And years ago, Julie Fraga told me to add crushed garlic. I must not want to get well because as of yet, I have had no tea.
Men say you must add rum or tequila to the tea. Again, I must not want to be well! And you should not get your hair cut if you have a cold. It won't lay right if you do that. So we learn from grandmothers and old wives here in Mexico.
Now, I am going to go and take this like an American man. Which means I will sit and moan that the end that is near. It's curtains for me with this cold, which I refuse to call gripa, as the Mexicans do. No, I just have a fatal cold. Jose has walked Punta. Carmen may come and fuss around me. And the rest of you can just leave me alone. I'm dying, I tell you!

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