What bad luck??

Maybe it is Laredo superstitions or maybe they are widespread but… I am always surprised by being told what to do to avoid “bad luck.”

I can’t plop my purse on the floor without someone telling me “no la pongas en el piso porque se te va el dinero” (don’t put your purse on the floor because your money will fly). Now, I can see how this might work with all the petty thieves lurking everywhere but… bad luck just ain’t it, according to me.

Now, today, I am not talking about good ol’ personal OJO (the evil eye) that exists in almost every culture (which I don’t think works either but don’t go putting curses on me, just in case). No, today, I am talking about restaurant bad luck.

How many restaurants have you been in that have something like this:



No? Really? Come on, think back or look harder next time. Here is another prime example:

I started to notice them after having lunch at Danny’s in the northside one day. We were paying the bill and I saw a lonely pitcher of ice on the gumball machines. Thinking I was doing the servers a favor, I picked it up and handed it to one of the servers and told him that they forgot a pitcher on the side.

Big mistake – apparently I shouldn’t have disturbed the half filled pitcher because I was told by the worried employee that it was there to not let evil things happen so I should not have disturbed it.

One evil thing did happen, though. I went back the next day and took a picture because I thought it was just a bizarre custom that was part of that restaurant:

I then quickly realized it was not as bizarre as I had first imagined. Because the next time I saw lemons in ice water was at El Partner’s sister’s house. I said, “Que traes con eso, Partnerette?” and she also told me that it cleanses the evil spirits somehow. Interesting, interesting. So the use is not only restaurants but also for private homes. It seems as if I never stop learning … even if I still don’t believe, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for the restaurants and other places that do believe.

But today, my friends and I enjoyed Thai food and I thought I came across another ward-er away-er of evil. Dried red chile taped to the counter?? Could it be a new good luck trend or just a bored server…???

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About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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11 Responses to What bad luck??

  1. critters and crayons says:

    That is fascinating!!! So offerings are more widespread than fruit displays in nail salons? Growing up in Korea, we saw a lot of bottles of rice wine (called MaKoLi) laying against trees here and there. They were offerings to shaman gods….

    • Que Fregados says:

      I didn’t include all of the other objects around Laredo, either. Like the orange offerings at some of the Asian restaurants or all the Santa Muerte statues around and all the other stuff. I focused on this one because it was new to me – still wondering if it is a Laredo custom or what??

    • Gretchen says:

      Don;t some people just pick up the wine and drink it? I think the people who stand on corners here might try it! lol!

  2. Wow, we must be thinking alike. Guess what I published last night?: http://randomology.org/2011/06/the-luck-o-the-skittish/

  3. YayaOrchid says:

    I’m glad you’re not superstitious. It is just not a good thing to be. What I do want to know is where you had Thai food and do you recommend it? Haven’t seen any Thai places around town.

    • Que Fregados says:

      Lotus Restaurant on McPherson by la Estancia & Tortas Yukon. The food is DELICIOUS but the service is a little … off. They have posted hours but are sometimes closed or are there but not attending to the public (this was once during lunch rush) – but I do recommend the food.

  4. daisy says:

    my mom puts a lime in her purse and then throws it out once it’s dried out at a 4 corner’s spot or running water (i.e. creek). she says it keeps her from getting bad vibes from onlookers/frienemies/jealous folks who wish her harm, the quicker the lime dries out the the more damage (bad wishes) has been targeted towards you. o.O oh and i never put my purse on the floor, or a bed … or on a table, silly? yes. but i can’t help it now as it’s become habit, lol. besides i like my purses, they are not cheap and i don’t like them getting all grimy so it works out for the best. ;o)

  5. Furniture In Life says:

    My mom would die if she ever saw me put my purse on the floor. She doesn’t even let me put it on the floor of my car. As for the limes, my mom once threw out a whole bag at an intersection of two streets in order to rid her of the bad luck she supposedly had. The water glass thing is also commonly used in households to make sure no evil spirits enter the home. My mom has one next to the entrance at her front door. She would also put them on our windows when we were kids whenever we had nightmares. I believe in them because I grew up with these superstitions and I adore my mom but it seems like she might have some issues… 😀

  6. My Peruvian mom’s insistence that I never put my purse on the floor is with me to this day! She also got me into the habit of not putting hats or shoes on the bed (muy mala suerte) and always wearing yellow undies on New Year’s Eve for prosperity. As for the water glass, I visited relatives in Arequipa, Perú a couple of years ago, and one of my aunts runs a successful custom tailoring business. Her entire shop was bedecked with little glasses of water at both sides of every door and window, on top of each display with bolts of fabric and pretty much anywhere there was an empty space. She swears by these practices (le dio colera cuando dije ‘supersticiones’) and attributes her success to these and various other little rituals.

  7. Pingback: Breaking the jinx of bad luck! | bummyla

  8. Pingback: Who Knew This Kept The Rain Away? | | critters and crayonscritters and crayons

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