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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

Ask a Mexican

07 Aug 2013
Dear Mexican: My co-worker was driving to work this morning when she realized she was being followed by a Mexican in his vehicle. He followed her for at least three miles on the road, and during this time, he waved at her, smiled when she frowned, and even puckered his lips. She took small streets and confirmed that he was following her every move until she was able to lose him. Why do Mexican men tend to follow women when they are driving? Do Mexican men really think that relationships start on the road? Perturbed in Pacific Palisades Dear Gabacha: Let’s ask Chris Berman. In a 1990 Sports Illustrated profile (one of the first big ones on the legendary sportscaster, since the magazine was still lamely comparing him to Fred Flintstone), Boomer admitted to pulling the very stunt you just described. “One day in 1979, he tracked a silver Firebird…
31 Jul 2013
Dear Mexican: I’m curious about the meaning of the term “Viva la Raza” that I have often heard expressed by my friends and family. I know what it translates to, but I don’t know why we say it. I happen to be what some call a “half-breed,” and therein lies my dilemma. “Viva La Raza” implies that the person who says this is of a certain “race.” My mother’s family is from the state of Georgia and of French, Scottish and English descent, whereas my father’s family hails from New Mexico and has been in the northern part of that great state since 1627; if you count my indio ancestors (who are undoubtedly in my lineage; after all, my grandmother is short and brown), my family was in the Santa Fe area prior to European settlement in the Americas. This makes me and my father's people mestizos. In addition, my…
24 Jul 2013
Dear Mexican: I had a conversation today with an 18-year-old female Mexican co-worker that completely blew me away. She has a 3-month-old baby with her 19-year-old (also Mexican) unemployed boyfriend. They have just found out that she is pregnant again. After listening to her sob about it, I asked her if she was going to keep the baby. Horrified, she responded, “We are Catholic; we don’t believe in abortion.” She also revealed that her religion does not allow her to be on birth control. There is obviously a serious problem in this country with teenage pregnancy, and a trip to the mall reveals an extremely high number of Mexican-American teen mothers. My question is: If these girls are so “Catholic,” why are they having premarital sex in the first place? Protestant Pendejo Dear Gabacho: While I would love to blame the Catholic Church for all Mexican ills—hell, for all the…
17 Jul 2013
Dear Mexican: So I walked into Carl’s Jr. the other day and gazed at a dozen middle-aged women of Mexican decent hustling and bustling around a kitchen. A flawless performance, yet I couldn’t help but think of my days as a youth and the responsibility I learned from my first job. Do you think the youth of today have had less of a chance to procure a decent work ethic because most of today’s minimum-wage jobs are occupied by immigrants (both legal and illegal)? Put simply: If I lived a stone’s throw away from Canada, and their minimum wage was $14 an hour, I might go there to work and send all the money back to my family in the U.S. But I wouldn’t think it was right. The Mick Dear Mick: Blaming Mexicans for the flojo-ness of millennials? That’s the latest rant of Know Nothings, especially during the Great…
10 Jul 2013
Dear Mexican: I live in La Habra, Calif., and I’ve noticed that the local Mexicans have a real affinity for palm trees—the more, the better. Some houses have more than 50 planted in a 10-by-20 front yard—so many that you can’t see the house. What’s up with this? Is this some kind of Mexican status symbol? The Crazy Gringa Dear Loca Gabacha: It’s a reminder of—take your pick—Palm Sunday, a Mexican’s home state, the beach, the beauty of nature, the eternal Mexican propensity to turn anything into a business, and the fact that it’s better to buy better weapons and no longer rely on fronds for your shivs. My boss, a gringo, questioned me on the choice of words I used in an ad that I wrote in a local grocery-retailer magazine. The article informed the reader that my company is now supplying a product that many of the customers…
03 Jul 2013
Dear Readers: My columna a couple of weeks ago about whether Aztec savagery influences violence in Mexico today drew muchos responses, both bueno and malo. Here are two: Dear Mexican: I enjoy reading all your replies and was thinking about the column you wrote about the violence/Aztec blood. I grew up in Huntington Beach and am a “brown man” (Iranian decent). I’m currently in Shitzona finishing up pharmacy school, and I made an interesting observation today at a gas station: The reason Mexicans are “sketchy” or “violent” or whatever the stereotype is, is due to the level of treatment they receive from their environment. I’ve played lots o’ fútbol back home and worked lots of jobs where I worked side-by-side with Mexicans. What I have found is that while back home, the Mexicans still had some of the Napoleanesque machismo complex, complete with super-pervy sexual (toma, güey, etc.) behavior. Here…
26 Jun 2013
Dear Mexican: I’m a U.S.-born Mexican who spent some of my years growing up in Tijuana. Why do Mexican Americans from Santa Ana (Orange County) and South Gate (near Los Angeles) always think they’re harder than the rest of us Mexicans, even though their neighborhoods are like 100 times better than the colonia in which I grew up? I mean, they have the Santa Ana Zoo and South Coast Plaza; we've got Plaza del Rio, which is right next to a mainline sewer. Please explain the misplaced pride these folks have in their hometowns. Like George Carlin said, “No one should be proud of where or how they were born,” or something like that. Confused Border Brother Dear Wab: Two things here. What George Carlin said was, “I could never understand ethnic or national pride. Because to me, pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your…
19 Jun 2013
Dear Mexican: A co-worker recently turned me on to a website that features many videos of unspeakable atrocities that the drug cartels are committing in Mexico—including many graphic displays of murders and beheadings. I recently saw one of a woman getting her head cut off with a knife! I wish I had never seen this, but it can't be unseen. Now, most Mexicans I have met are very nice, generous people. Mexico is also such a strong Catholic country, where the church preaches to be good and helpful to your fellow man. How can it be possible that these types of evil people really exist there? Is it because they still have Aztec blood running in them? As we know from history, the Aztecs were notorious butchers and cannibals. Puzzled by Narco Violence Dear Gabacho: As we also know from history, the English used to draw and quarter people, then…
12 Jun 2013
Dear Mexican: In Philadelphia, where I live, there are three Spanish-language stations on regular broadcast television. None of them offer English subtitles. I bet plenty of people of all heritages would like to check out Spanish-language television, or the news from Central America, or whatever, if we could get subtitles. I called one of the stations (Univisión) about it, but they said there are no plans to offer subtitles. Meanwhile, Channel 35 here in Philly has Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, and Italian programming, all with subtitles. Your thoughts? Broad Street Broad Dear Gabacha: Your letter has been in my ¡Ask a Mexican! archives for so long that your question is no longer relevant—but I’ll todavia answer it, because it allows me to raise a great point. Last year, Univisión announced it was going to offer English-language captions for most of its telenovelas and even some news programs, although it…
05 Jun 2013
Dear Readers: The United Kingdom’s spectacular Guardian newspaper has asked if I could field some questions for their readers as part of the paper’s summer travel package: It turns out Brits want to know more about Mexican food! Let’s be benevolent toward those buggerers: Their idea of what our comida constitutes comes solely from their gabacho cousins, and not from any actual Mexicans. Gracias to the Guardian for the opportunity, and mark my words: We Mexicans are going to avenge the Armada, with the Irish as our wingmen. So, without further ado … Dear Mexican: I’m a Brit who’s traveling to New Mexico and Texas during the summer. We love our Tex-Mex in England—all that chili and yellow cheese! So where can I get the good stuff? The Boy With the Nachos in His Side Dear Limey: For starters, you’re NOT going to find much chili and yellow cheese in…