Travel back in History with me

Below is one of the mass emails that I got recently that I thought was really interesting.  It was particularly interesting to me not as a reader but someone that seems to be mentioned in the email.  The email is suppose to be little tibits about history, but reading it seemed more like reading about current news for me.  

Read below! You will find it not only interesting but also have a trip back in time with me and get and understanding of where I am living now.  (my comments are added in ITALICS)

According to The History Channel, during the Victorian age, people would only change a baby's diaper every four days. Whew whee!  (in my area you are lucky if your kid wears diapers, may here just let the baby pee in their clothes, luckily I have not seen one shit in their pants)

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. (agreed, here we have one temperature, luckily we live in a hot climate area, so we do not have to worry about not having hot water, but the showers, or bucket baths are not as refreshing as it could be)

Here are some facts about the 1500s: These are interesting... (reading this, I wondered what time in history I am living)

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were beginning to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.  (luckily people here bath daily, we are lucky as there are wells and rivers all around, but I skirm when I see people washing themselves and their clothes in dead water of a river during dry season)

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. (in this area we use the same verb to mean swim in the river and to bath at the river, so no repeated water use, so the phrase for this area would be, “don’t wash your baby down with the river”)

"Houses had thatched roofs--thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.  It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs” There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. ( when it pours around here, it certainly do pour! But have not seen cats and dogs flying down, but with the wind you have to be careful with everything else like the numerous coconuts and mangos flying off the trees)

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.  (I guess I do have a canopy bed, I leave the mosquito net open all the time, but keep it over the bed, because had bats flying around, exotic bugs and rat peeing on me, right now there is a dead scorpion next to my bed, simply have not removed it because it does not bother is dead!)

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying "dirt poor. (this makes me of think of host family here, love eating with them as one can freely throw food scrap on the ground for the chickens, dogs, and whatever else than happens to be hanging around, and whatever that is not cleaned up by the animals, is simply slept out the door the next day.)

"The wealthy had the slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.  As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a "thresh hold."

(Getting quite an education, aren't you) ( there is not enough temperature change to put thresh on the floor, we strictly use it for roofing, but I noticed some people do put down “thresholds” to keep animals and criters out of the house)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.  They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes a stew had the food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.  (we definitely still cook with a big kettle over open fires, as things taste best when you cook it all together, and it is reheated periodically to keep it from going bad..since we have no refrigerations)

"Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off...It was a sign of wealth that a man could "bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat. (I guess we are still poor in this area, more poor than in the old days, because there is no pork around for miles and only a butchered cattle hangs from the tree about every other week)

"Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for about the next 400 years, tomatoes were considered poisonous. (if we can´t even afford meat, how can we afford silverware!!)

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper-crust." (not much bread around, but some people actually like their tortillas well toasted)

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait to see if they woke up.  Hence the custom of holding a "wake."  (people do not use lead cups around here, but some have said to drink rubbing alcohol and straight gasoline!..that will knock you out for a few days)

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. (my host family started digging up a mayan grave underneath my house right underneath my bed below the foundation, looking for jade and gold, she was able to find some very small pieces of jade and bone chips but no gold!  The dug up hole is still there, after about 6 months not being touched, I am just wondering if she is planning to reuse it soon and that is why the hole did not get covered back up!!)

When reopening these coffins, about 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.  Someone would sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer." 

(thank god no burials have come alive, considering I am sleeping on an uncovered mayan burial!!)

And that's the truth... Now , whoever said that History was boring!

And whoever said they are bored when they are in the Peace Corps is not living the times!!