Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Today I bought chicken breasts at a place on Mesones behind the San Francisco church. I'd seen it many times and it was always a busy place with many Mexican mujeres waiting in front of the counter. I like to buy from my Chicken Man in my colonia but today I had things to do and didn't know if I would make it back to my Colonia before he closed shop.

At this shop there are 3 people behind the counter. One is cutting chicken into parts muy rapido and throwing the parts into containers around him. One is the amplanado guy....the guy who pounds out the breasts. The third man is the one who switches the containers and keeps the "cutter" supplied with whole chickens. When he isn't doing that he waits on the counter. It is a busy place. Lots of chickens move through there and it smells clean.

I walk into the shop and there are three or four people at the counter waiting for their order. I stand politely, at least I think I'm being polite, behind someone and wait for my turn. Other mujeres walk in and the catch the eye of the guy who is filling orders and they order. I can't even catch a glance from him. As two or three people who came in after me get their orders filled, I feel myself start to puff up with righteous indignation. What is going on? Are they ignoring me because I'm a gringa? Well if that is they way they are going to be, I'll just leave.

I took a few deep yogic breaths. What is really happening here? Is this discrimination or is this a cultural difference? Lines aren't really lines in Mexico. I won't be considered impolite if I just speak up and tell them what I need. Another deep breath, I ordered and in just a few minutes I was out of the chicken store with my order.

By the way, dinner was delicious. Chicken milanesa, buttered carrots and a big salad. Simple but after all the eating out, I'm relishing big helpings of veggies.

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