Living in East L.A. – It won’t get any tougher than that…

My sister was tough. Tougher than nails. She would take on 5 at a time, and whip them all.

The rest of my family came from Montebello, a city of 70,000, about 11 miles (18 km) from the center of Los Angeles.

Not my sister. She was too tough to be from Montebello. She came from East LA.

She was a Vata, which is “home girl” in Spanish. She was not to be messed with. I would have feared for my life, if I wasn’t assured of our strong family ties.

She taught me everything I know. She taught me how to eat Mexican Food, using the hottest of Chili Sauce, but it was never hot enough for her.

…..It was hot, but she was hotter…..

Now I’m living in Denmark, longing and searching for a chili sauce equal to none. Hot and Strong. Super Strong are some of the titles of chili sauce, but it is not true.

What would she have said, if I told her of “Strong Chili” in Denmark. She would have laughed in my face. “Here” she said, grabbing a Habenero, one of the strongest types of Chili to be found, popping in in her mouth like it were candy.

Laughing as the flames danced around the corners of her mouth, “Here, taste this if you want hot, are you a man or…”

No one was tougher than my Vata from East L.A.

No one