Over a month ago, I was standing outside the kitchen room of my apartment building and waiting for the black tea I was making to be finished.
While standing there, a Mexican neighbor of mine named Andrea made small talk with me as he was busy in the kitchen also.
And I say "he" because, while he was a very petite dude, he preferred to be called "Andrea."
He has since moved to another place and I have no idea if he was trans or not. He never dressed like a woman with a pink dress and wig but he preferred to be called "Andrea."
I have no idea.
Never asked nor was it a point of conversation between us.
Anyway, Andrea and I made small talk.
Truth be told, we never knew each other well despite having lived one room apart from each other for nearly 3 or 4 months.
He kept to himself usually and so did I.
Anyway, we got talking about whatever. Small talk as I said.
And, as it is usually the case with Latin Americans, they give you the usual questions as always:
What are you doing in Mexico?
What do you do for work?
How long you in Mexico for?
Do you like Mexico?
So on and so on.
During our conversation, we somehow touched the topic of corrupt police and violence.
I mentioned how I used to live briefly in the state of Mexico in a city called Naucalpan.
For regular readers who have been reading long enough, I often refer to my time there as living "close to Metro Cuatro Caminos."
Because I still considered my time there as being "part of Mexico City" even though I technically wasn't in Mexico City (both cities border each other Cuatro Caminos was a easy walk away so I can get why some would find it confusing).
Anyway, when discussing my time in that part of Mexico, I referenced how I once got robbed by a Mexican cop looking for a bribe as I wrote about here.
Andrea found the topic interesting.
In part because who wouldn't a story about corrupt police interesting?
But also because he was also from the State of Mexico.
Born and raised there in some small town.
We both agreed that the State of Mexico is quite a fucked up place.
As you can see here, it's a common meme among Mexicans too.
Well known for having very violent people engaged in crime and all that.
I generally agree.
While I'm sure most folks from State of Mexico are cool people (including Andrea despite the weird name), it does have more fucked up people doing fucked up things than other parts of the country from my impression.
For example, as you can see here, there was a recent serial killer who got exposed for killing lots of women in the State of Mexico.
....Very friendly people!
And, when discussing the State of Mexico with Andrea, you could see it in his eyes.
The conversation carried onward and he discussed his own moments of seeing fucked up shit.
For example, given how he lived for a few years in the building we lived at, he mentioned seeing a random person get mugged and stabbed by someone looking for money literally right outside the gate of our building only a year or so before I moved in.
Our kitchen area -- where we were standing during our conversation -- is basically in front of that gate so you could more easily imagine such a scenario play out right in front of you.
And, as it pertains to the State of Mexico, he mentioned stories similar to that.
He obviously didn't go into great detail but just references to seeing fucked up shit in the State of Mexico.
Waking up to walk outside on some casual afternoons and seeing a dead body dumped on the side of the street.
Frequent gunshots that could be heard in the night every so often.
So on and so on.
Anyway, another neighbor of ours walked in on our conversation and Andrea told him about my time being extorted by the police.
And, soon enough, we moved onto more normal topics.
Still, in the moment that Andrea was recalling his days living in the State of Mexico, you could see it in his eyes.
There was a change of mood and a change of appearance in his face where it was like he saw Satan's Ass Crack right in front of him with turds coming out right there for his eyes to see.
A type of horror, PTSD or whatever you want to call it.
Granted, Andrea was a skinny type of character, not too big in height, seemingly not too socially confident or strong and called himself "Andrea" as I said before (to clarify, Andrea was a dude who called himself a woman's name).
A character like that, if I had to imagine, probably would more be easily seen as a target growing up and living in the State of Mexico.
Regardless, you could see it in Andrea's eyes.
Almost like the soul had been sucked out of him in the moment as he revisited memories of living in the State of Mexico.
....As dramatic as that sounds. Thank me later for the exaggerations.
But it's true!
And I remember other moments like that.
A Date With My Soul
Sometimes Mexicans do have weird names or that seem weird anyway to us foreigners.
While Andrea was a dude and not a woman, you had another person I met over a year ago named Alma.
Now, in Mexican culture, Alma isn't a weird name.
It just means "soul" in Spanish.
Still, to us foreigners who think about it, I guess "Alma" does sound kinda weird as name in my culture.
"Hello Matthew, I am Soul" she tells me in the US.
Anyway, as I wrote here, I met a Mexican woman named "Soul" or "Alma" in Mexico City not too long ago.
Met her on Mexican Cupid, she happened to live in Roma Norte very close to me and we hooked up in my apartment very soon after.
Met her on a few occasions since then but have since lost touch.
Despite being named "soul," one could get a feeling that she had none.
....As dramatic as that sounds!
Well, I say that because, for one, she had a "dead look" in her eyes.
While she had a great ass (very great for a typical Mexican that you'd think she was Colombian or Brazilian), she did have a "dead look" in her face.
Where -- and I'm not exaggerating -- you'd think she wouldn't blink at the sight of someone being cut in half by a chainsaw.
Perhaps like Martha from Scarface here.
But only sexier and younger!
And, in our very brief time getting to know each other, I did ask her about life where she is from as I do usually with chicks I meet.
She was from a state called Tamaulipas.
For those who don't know, Tamaulipas is known for being very dangerous.
For what it's worth, it was ranked in the same dangerous category as Afghanistan by the US State Department here.
"The State Department’s highest “do not travel” advisory places the states of Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Guerrero at the same warning level as war-ravaged Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq."
And she told me stories about how it was a daily occurrence for her to hear gunshots in the background of where she lived in Tamaulipas.
How she'd even see literally dudes walking out of neighboring homes with a gun in hand to, in theory, maybe go shoot some people or whatever the fuck they were about to do.
In short, she didn't come from an area where you fucked around and assumingly saw people get shot up.
And, similar to Andrea, you could see more tension in her face when talking about it though I think Andrea took it more emotionally than she ever did (in terms of how their faces changed when talking about it).
But that also goes to show some people find it easier to talk about than others.
Jovi: The Gal Jumping Over Dead Bodies of Indios Verdes
A woman who was a character of my blog not so long ago that I had a lot of sex with as you can read about here.
Got to know her over several months.
From Puebla but chose to relocate to live with her sister near Indios Verdes of Mexico City.
Now, for those who don't know, Indios Verdes is on the northern edge of town and just about any Mexican agrees that it's a complete shit area.
Not a place to live in unless you have to due to lack of cash.
While Jovi never had as much of a "tense feeling" or "serious look" when discussing crime in Mexico, she has recalled to me seeing before a body or so dumped on the street she has lived on or close to where she lives.
Just not with the tense look that you'd see in Andrea's face though.
She was a champ. Could take ugly situations like a boss.
Originally, I was going to title this article "The Latin American with the Thousand Death Stare."
But that would be not appropriate.
After all, not all of Latin America is the same in the same way not all of Mexico is the same.
Most Mexicans you meet -- a vast majority of 99% -- do not walk around with some dead look in their eyes 24/7.
Many also live normal lives without fucked up shit happening.
I emphasize that quite strongly.
And, outside of Mexico, the security situation varies.
Can't imagine as many Uruguayans or Chileans have that look in their eyes (outside of maybe someone somewhere in Chile who saw their cousin get hanged from a Pinochet Helicopter back in the day).
Scarface Hanging Omar Scene
Still, you get the idea.
I do think that certain Latin American nationalities -- like Mexican, Colombian, etc -- are more likely to have this tensity and look in their eyes than others.
The Mexican versus the Uruguayan.
The Colombian versus the Chilean.
The Venezuelan versus the Argentina.
The Brazilian from a Favela versus the Costa Rican.
And, even in those "nicer countries" like Costa Rica or Argentina, you still got shit areas.
Or how you got plenty in those nicer countries who did have bad experiences that would leave a dark look on the face when they talk about them.
And that dark look is all I'm talking about anyhow.
Over a month or so ago, my sister was telling me how she knew a Mexican dude in Iowa who worked for the Mexican military or something and she said how you could tell that "he had seen some shit."
If he had that look in his eyes or not, I don't know.
Never met him.
But I agree anyhow -- as it the point of this article -- how some Latin Americans (only some) have this look in their eyes that seems deprived of "alma" when you trigger something inside them that makes them recall something.
Whatever it might be.
While people of any nationality have that, it is true that some Latin American nationalities have more people like that than others.
And that's all I got to say.
Reminds me of this meme here.
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