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Buenisimo!!!

We recently received the following email from a Yucateca friend. (Thanks, Gaby). It contained a “Rosetta Stone” of local, modern Yucatan culture, so we are reprinting it here for our Yucateco readers who are living abroad (you know who you are) and for any local readers who might appreciate it. We would translate and explain it for everyone else, but somehow we think that would defeat the purpose. In other words, figuring it all out on your own is half the fun. Think of it as a cultural scavenger hunt. To be honest, we’re still working out at least half of it ourselves. (Any help would be appreciated.) The email begins, “You are definitely a Yucateco if…”

Definitivamente eres YUCATECO si…

  • Sabes quien es Ana Rosa Payan
  • Conoces al Dzot’s (la gruta del alux)
  • Has comido en Eladio’s
  • Dices “arrimate” indistintamente para decirle a alguien que se acerque o que se aleje
  • Has comido frijol con puerco en lunes y las tortas de cochinita los domingos
  • Agregas una “s” a las palabras que terminan en “e”, por ejemplo: comistess, venistess, dormistess, teminastess
  • Sabias de la existencia de los venados del Merida
  • Sabes donde queda y que es “la casa de la 500″
  • Sabes de la existencia de la playa de Tixkokob (por aquello de los cangrejos)
  • Conociste a un payaso llamado Pepillín
  • Siempre has pronunciado “Yucatán” con “m” en lugar de “n”
  • Sabes lo que es un “huiro”
  • Dices “cheva” en lugar de cerveza o chela
  • A la intersección de Paseo Montejo con Circuito Colonias, también la conoces como la “Fuente del Burger King”
  • Dices “huach” en lugar de “chilango” o de plano le dices “huach” a todo aquel que no sea coterraneo
  • No tomabas cerveza León ni Montejo porque las veías muy simplonas, pero cuando cambiaron de imagen enseguida las “redescubriste”
  • Piensas que la mayoría de los habitantes de Kanasin son “cheles”
  • Presumes que nuestra tierra es tierra de músicos y trovadores pero solamente conoces a Armando Manzanero
  • Aún conoces a cierta esquina de la 60 Norte como “Casa Bolio”, cuando ya ni existe
  • Piensas que el 60% de los habitantes de Francisco de Montejo son huaches
  • Crees que “Kalia” fue la mejor disco de todos los tiempos
  • Ir al malecón de Progreso a tomar las cervezas te hace sentir como turista
  • Es muy bonita la catedral del centro pero nunca has entrado
  • Sabes que entre San Antonio Cinta y San Antonio Xluch lo único que ?tienen igual es el nombre del santo, porque la diferencia social es abismal
  • Sabes del caso de un Armando Medina Millet, pero solo cuando lo publica el periódico
  • Usas el verbo “prestar” tanto cuando recibes algo como cuando das algo
  • Por alguna razón te caen mejor los de Quintana Roo que los de Campeche, siendo ambos nuestros vecinos
  • Cuando alguien de la alta sociedad habla “aporreado” se te hace raro
  • Has ido solamente como dos o tres veces, en toda tu vida, al Fenómeno de Luz y Sombra de Chichen Itzá
  • Piensas que los mejores tacos están solamente en Las Jirafas, Las Brasas o en Cacique
  • Piensas que “que onda ija” es una expresión meramente? populachera pero se ?escucha chistoso en ciertas ocasiones
  • Sientes que la mejor clínica del sureste mexicano es la “Clínica de Mérida”
  • Cuando en el 2000 se puso de moda, compraste la calca de la Bandera de la República de Yucatán
  • A todos los de apellido arabe, libanes y demás les dices “turcos”
  • Vas al nuevo Benedettis, KFC, Comercial Mexicana, Chedraui, Suburbia o McDonalds aunque ya sabes que estará lleno de gente
  • Tus tíos o tu padres aún usan la palabra “gallo” (que pasó gallo!)
  • A la glorieta de Circuito Colonias con Colón le dices “Glorieta de la Dondé”
  • Crees que ir a “Heladería Colón” o a “La Reyna de Montejo” es solamente para señores
  • En diciembre vas al arbolito de la coca
  • Has ido al programa de Dzereco y no hoch los lunes a TRECE TV
  • Usas los direccionales del auto solo cuando se te acuerda (eso todos no solo los Yucas)
  • Compraste alguna de las playeras orgullosamente yucatecas en Gran Plaza (the fashion mall, según)
  • Vas al beisbol solo cuando los Leones andan bien o pasan a playoff
  • Ibas a Wendys todos los viernes a pararte como pendejo nada mas
  • Compras Toda tu despensa en Sam´s Club o Price
  • Has ido a los arrancones ilegales los viernes a Xmatkuil
  • Comes Charritos de La lupita
  • Vas a ver a cholo o a Melo Colli al teatro hector herrera
  • Vas a dar un “roll” a toooodo Paseo de Montejo, presumiendo tus? subwoofers
  • Pides “Ray” en lugar de “Raid”
  • Compras playeras Lacoste en el chetumalito
  • Comes queso de bola del “Gallo”
  • Vas a misa a San Juanistas, aunque vivas en Vergel
  • Vas a Xmatkuil todos los fines de semana que esta la feria
  • Entras al stand de la coca de Xmatkuil
  • Piensas que Mixup le vino a dar en la madre a Rocketerías y a Ritmo Musical
  • No es “adelante” sino “alante”
  • No es “cobertizo” sino “marquesina”
  • No es “banqueta” sino “escarpa” (està bien dicho)
  • No es “resortera” sino “tirahule”
  • No es “papalote” sino “papagallo” (està bien dicho)
  • No es “hace calor” sino “hay calor”
  • No es “caber” sino “dar” (algunos casos, claro)
  • No es “el objeto” sino el “negociante”
  • Las calles no deben tener nombre, siempre deben tener número

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24 Responses to “Buenisimo!!!”

  1. Well, now I know where all those missing Cuban “s’s” are. They must fly out of the mouths of the poor Cubans and land direcly across the water in the bocas del los Yucatecos. Hay que comer comida en vez del los “eses”.

  2. there is one more missing in this list,
    cuando pides direcciones todos los “yucas” dicen “derecho” it seems like everywhere you go is “derecho” this is one word my gringo husband learned when we visited Merida and got lost many times going “derecho”.

  3. LAS TORTAS DE LA MARIA ELENA

    A tribute of respectable tradition.

    Dear Working Gringos:

    This post was the typical list but in some way reflects some of our identity. Certainly Kalia (1991-2001) was not the only one, but yucatecos aged 40 or more remember “Bin Bon Bao” (1985-1990) disco, and years ago, “Barba Azul” (1970-79) as good places that might be part of this “Rosetta Stone” of local culture.

    As far as I remember -all yucatecos from my age use to do it- there is a place to eat in Mérida almost more popular than the Monumento a la Bandera itself.

    It is called “La Maria Elena” one of the greatest hits of Mérida’s loncherías geography.

    Not just because of it´s strategic location –in the heart of the legendary suburb of Itzimná- but the name itself represents an honorable tradition from one of the urban meridano’s meal.

    In almost three decades “Las tortas de la Maria Elena” had made a contribution to our lifes by the way it socializes it’s product (I will charge for that!) in all publics: students, officers, police man, secretaries, political and religious leaders, teachers, messengers, bank executives and even the city major and all kind of huaches hang around just to satisfy an urgent need of this remarked torta made with the cheapest “pastel mosaico ham” and the lowest quality cheese we ever know. No mayonnaise, no vegetables, no nothing inside but this two “delicatessen”.

    The quintessential Yucatan eating experience of Wayane´s does not have anything in common with eating one torta of “La Maria Elena”. But hundreds of yucatecans crowding this lonchería every morning can’t be wrong when I asked my friends why they should prefer a $8 pesos torta, instead of enjoying one of Wayane´s high cuisine.

    I will try to explain as far of my PFFC ( Poor and Forgotten First Certificate) could allow me, hope you don’t mind:

    Some yucatecos told me that the secret is always there. (¿Where?, I asked)

    -You just stand there and order the number of tortas you want. (¿So What?)

    You must say: “Dos para comer acá” (Two for eat it here).

    This is to point out you have the time to stay and of course you are expected to be served earlier.

    You will see a lady in charge repeating loudly :¡Dos para acá! (Two for here) to someone behind a courtain.

    You never see or hear who or what’s behind the courtain where hundreds of tortas are served by a mysterious hand coming up every half minute.

    But certainly the secret is there and no doubt that it is an special oven or some kind of ancient machine that makes the pan francés the right grade of crispyness. ¿Could something be more enjoyable like that? The Maria Elenas does not have anything special than the way are coming from the mysterious oven: “calientitas” but the pleasure does not stop yet. You should realize that they come served in one cheap-plastic dish and a huge amount of jalapeño chilly and of course, any kind of chips you want to put inside. It is up to you choose a coke, a fresh water, but if you are not yucateco you will be asked:

    ¿De lata o de botella? (can or bottle?)

    Another theory –should I say psychological research line- suggest that this mix of crunchy delights tends to remind hundreds of yucatecos the kind of tortas they use to eat in their earlier eighties during the time they were students. Good theory. After all, I have been eating tortas since i was in kindergarden, then in elementary, high school, preparatory, career and recently on my master degree. A total addiction.

    But the fact is that Las Mariaelenas (please, notice this grammatical variation) have been survived among Hacienda´s inspectors, lots of imitators (There is a version called “Marianelas”) and even aggressive competitors that opened just in front of .

    Not to be considered that this place tends to be a sort of a social centre that stitch togheter many students generations, most of them coming from private high schools around and from all universities outside Mérida to pick up their “Maria Elenas” and then, go back to the classroom. I haven´t found any teacher to move students like this lonchería do.

    Two days ago I found between the crowd and old classmate from high school eating “Dos para comer acá” . We were chatting about children, wifes, business, but we didn´t realize that we were enjoying a ritual, in some way, more pleassant than save honors to our nacional heroes located 30 meters near by, at Monumento a la Patria.

    That’s what I call a tribute and I expected could stay longer.
    Long Life Mariaelenas.

    Eduardo Cabrera Ruiz
    ecabrera [at] cablered [dot] net [dot] mx

  4. Kathy: We think you may be on to something. As you probably know, many Cubanos have expatriated to Yucatan and they have been dropping their “S’s” around Merida ever since. On the other hand, if you know any culture that is short “N’s” or “V’s” let us know. We don’t use them here.

    Gina: Absolutely. Duly noted and added to the list. Have you noticed that from the driver’s point of view – looking out the windshield – everything really is always ahead of you?

    Eduardo: Thank you so much for your insight and the history of Mariaelenas. Can you guess where we’re going to eat next?

  5. What a fantastic post! I’m printing this out and bringing it with me when I come to Mérida next month. I’ve just squared everything away to spend four weeks in this remarkable city, and I’m learning so much from your blog. Many thanks!

  6. As a former transplanted “yucateco”, I do remember the days of Bin Bon Bao, arrancones were NOT fridays in xmatkuil but in Prolongacion Montejo on the weekends (I know this being a participant of such an activity)… Eres yucateco si los viernes sabados y domingos (despues de misa en Los San Juanistas) vas a pararte como idiota al “boliche” (bolerama) y gastar tu dinero jugando “maquinitas”… despues a cenar.

    Those were the days, Saturdays it was a must to go get squished at “Cine Colon” at the 4 pm function (which could mean getting injured just to get into a movie theatre) of what may be a bad movie.

    Great post, by the way, I am glad I found it. Sure did remind me of a lot of things from my youth. I recently went back to Merida after being absent for over 9 years and was so sad to see the city so changed and turned into a commercial haven for large enterprise. Merida in my eyes was a beautiful city, marked by its provincial nature, one did not need to turn into another conglomerated metropoli. One were you cannot even find a “yellow tortilla” anymore!!!

    Regardless, in my heart it will always be home.

  7. Gracias, Arturo, for your comments. We hope you will keep reading and help us discover and create the *new* evolved Merida that still keeps the magic of the past while embracing the future. P.S. We *still* know places where you can get handmade yellow tortillas!

  8. Eduardo is totally right! And for the way he writes, he should be our ‘Cronista de la Ciudad’(hubby could too, but he isnt yucateco). Now the list; sorry, kind of lame. This is not a good list,(IMHO) is an imitation, with up to date added activities that dont make the cut.

  9. no creo que eso sea cierto,en el escrito, nunca se hablo de la cultura, ni de las tradiciones eso no lo hacen los verdaderos yucatecos,eso lo hacen los yucatecos que se sienten americanos

  10. You forgot to mention that we know what the delicious “huayas” are, and that we love to eat them with salt chile and lime.
    Remember any one??!!!

    Se te olvido mencionar que nosotros sabemos que son las deliciosas “huayas” y que nos encanta comerlas con sal, chile y limon.
    Se acuerdan???!!!

  11. Some of us grew up with Lela Oxcutzcaba and The Chereque from Titeradas y Titere Chevere. I still remember their pupet friends and the TV series. They were the funniest ever, you would laugh untill you die.

    Algunos de nosotros crecimos con Lela Oxcutzcaba y El Chereque de Titeradas y Titere Chevere. Todavia recuerdo sus amigos titeres y las series de Television. Lo mas gracioso del mundo, te reias hasta morir.

  12. Crees que “Kalia” fue la mejor disco de todos los tiempos. To be a little more actual I think it should be Vatzya (The one that used to be at Hotel Fiesta Americana now Chili’s) instead Kalia.

  13. Just wanted to say hello to Lizbeth Aurora Gallegos from China. Hoping to keep the friendship alive and well. Now living in Shenzhen, China. Geoff

  14. No sabia que Vatzia no existe ya mas… que mas hay de nuevo?

  15. Hello,
    I can not believe that somebody was so kind to spend time collecting all these that makes us so Yucatecos.
    I was born in Merida but have lived in US since 1969.
    One more thing to add to the list, if you may is to go to Santiago for Panuchitos to La Isamalena and to Santa Lucia for the Serenatas to take video with your brand new (from WalMart) Panasonic,each time you go to visit the family. Thanks for the page.

  16. algun yucateco que tenia tanto tiempo libre se le ocurrio estas cosas pero en fin esta buenisimo

  17. me alegro mucho leer todo, gracias por recordarnoeso.s todo

  18. Maaaaaa…….q chistoso :)

  19. damn, se me salen las lagrimas solo de recordar, un ida volvere mi hermosa merida.

  20. Hola, soy de Yucatan pero actualmente vivo en Denver, Colorado USA y quisiera saber si alguna persona me puede decir como conseguir el queso de bola desde aqui.
    Agradecere. Se vende por medio de internet? como? Donde? Gracias.

  21. There are more things to remember…I will post them later.

  22. ¿Donde está el restaurante cubano en Mérida, Yucatán?

  23. hola soy de yucatan, de cenotillo especificamente antes vivia en los angeles …y este agosto voy a los angeles si esta interesada o (do) yo se donde conseguir el queso de bola en los angeles se lo podria traer de alla……

  24. I know more English from my dad (my gringo dad) but I’m writing on my lenguage de yucateca:

    Pues definitavamente yo vivo en USA desde hace mas lunas niño, (asi se habla en Yucatan)
    Y estoy bien orgullosa de haber nacido en el Puerto de Progreso de Castro – cerquita de Merida, cuantas cosas tan originales y unicas (sinonimos) de ser de Yucatan, el hablar, el expresarse con tantas palabras bien yucatecas, con ‘s’ o sin ella, con el MARE! y la BOMBA! y el tikinxik (no se si quieren que lo tradusca) pero es el pescadito abierto con su recadito (condimentos) y hacernos unos taquitos despues de salir del mar…todos mojados y ‘salados’ disfrutando de esta deliciosa comidita con o sin cerveza, o simplemente con tu coca-cola o ‘pepsi’.
    Y como siempre tan amigables que somos los verdaderos yucatecos, sin estar buscando “pleitos’ pa’ nadaa.
    Les felicito por el tiempo que se toman para hacer estos escritos a lo que representa las expresiones yucatecas….
    Lastima que no se puedan ver como al hablar nos expresamos con los ojos y las manos, extendiendo nuestros brazos para ir ‘derecho’ y doblar en la esquina y luego caminar ‘derecho’ de nuevo hasta llegar a la otra esquina (que no es nuestro destino todavia) y luego doblas “ayi” y veras a la marchante con sus verduras y luego de donde esta ella, dos casas despues es donde es donde quieres tu ir (llegar).
    Bueno, se me gasto mi escrito pues ya tengo que ‘arreglarme’ para ir a mi trabajo, donde siempre les digo a los niños “pegate, pegate, o te pueden atropellar” pero como lo digo en English…no se oye tan yucateco…..BRAVO!

    Hoy pase por tu casa, llevandote lindas flores
    no me abriste la puerta, y hazta se te quemaron los frijoles….

    BOMBA!

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