Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Things Gringos Expect

Besides decapitations (untrue), police shakedowns (true), kidnapping dogs for ransom (sometimes true), gringos also expect to be ripped off. I guess that's common at Pemex stations although I've not experienced it.  If Joe Blow is given the wrong change at Chubby Chicks (his name for the fruiteria because the women who work there are, um, robust), he'll assume it was done on purpose.

I think mistakes are made. I think if you expect to get ripped off, you will.

A few days ago I took a friend to one of the chicken places, Pollos Asados de Ebenezer. When we walked in, I thought I was in trouble with Maria, the owner. Gosh, she had such a stern look on her face and then she started in.

Remember that Gary Larson cartoon "What we say to dogs: sit Ginger, good girl. What dogs hear: blah blah blah Ginger." Or something like that. Anyway, that's how I am with Spanish. "Blah, blah, blah, muchacha, blah blah blah, mesa..." grabbing one word out of ten. It took a while to grasp what Maria was saying but finally it all sort of came together. The last time I was in - a couple months ago - Maria charged me for a whole chicken when I'd only had a half. I made some lame attempt to explain the mistake but finally gave up, not wanting to offend Maria. After I'd left that day Maria asked Enselmo, her husband, what I'd had and he confirmed it had only been a half a chicken. Poor Maria. She fretted for two months over the error. To make it right, she asked if I wanted money or chicken. Are you kidding me? I'll take the chicken any day. She was so relieved. At last she could feel "muy tranquila." Warm hugs and warm chicken all around when we left.

It's very simple. You reap what you sow. Like attracts like. Blah blah blah Ginger.

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