Thursday, May 19, 2011
Vintage Home Life in Mexico
Interesting tidbits of home life in Mexico found in an 1897 Good Housekeeping magazine:
HOME LIFE IN MEXICO.
THE JOURNAL "MODERN MEXICO" SAYS:
That Mexico ladies never flirt.
That the Mexico women have not yet adopted the bicycle.
That good household servants are paid from $4 to $8 a month.
That one may listen for a year and never hear an angry word spoken in Spanish.
That it is quite the proper thing in Mexico to take a little nap after the midday meal.
That the departing lady kisses her lady friends on both cheeks at the door or on the street car.
That you can buy all the beautiful flowers you can carry home in a half-bushel basket, for an American half dollar.
That even the peon's (laborer or bondman) wife has a piece of drawn work to cover her husband's dinner basket.
That babies and children all wear half socks, and are happy with bare legs, when Northern visitors require overcoats.
That white paper is one of the things that is expensive. Ordinary news paper costs about ten cents (silver) a pound.
That one of the favorite sweets for children is sugar cane. It is sold in pieces about eighteen inches long for one centavo each.
That everybody shakes hands both at meeting and parting, even though the visit may be on the street corner and lasts only two minutes.
That the politeness the common people show each other and their affection for their children, are a never-ending source of pleasure to foreigners.
That every one is required by law to keep a bowl of water in the entry of his house, for the convenience of dogs, so that they will not go mad from thirst.
That the waiter will give you a complete change of plate, knife and fork with every separate order of meat or vegetables, and the style is to eat but one thing at a time.
That a gentleman would almost feel disgraced to be seen carrying a two-pound package or his satchel on the public street. Servants and carriers are so cheap that such work is always left to them.
That fires are almost unknown, cooking being done with a little charcoal in stoves made of masonry, and as the houses are universally built of stone and bricks, and have no chimneys, there is little chance for conflagrations.
That aside from fresh fruits, which are always served abundantly, dessert is almost unknown on the average home or hotel table. A dulce, or simple sweet of some kind, is served at the end of the meal, but it rarely consists of more than a very small portion of preserved fruit, or one little tart about the size of a dollar.