Thursday, January 3, 2008

dreaming of puebla, mexico




there is a tinnnny little restaurant that i like to go to for 'mexican food.' i imagine that it is just really good food cooked by a family from mexico that fits the palate of americans, still the food is made with care and it is delicious. i go often enough so that i now have little conversations with the owners which are a family of 5 brothers and 1 sister that alternate their work days. of the six there is only one woman. initially she was shy and withdrawn, which i can appreciate. we must earn one another's trust. i stopped in today for my usual rice and bean burrito, and the 'shy one' was beside herself. half of her brothers have returned home to puebla mexico for vacation, and the other two who are supposed to help her in the restaurant, are down with the flu. she is running the restaurant alone, doing all the food preparation, the cooking and the cleaning. can you imagine? granted the tiny space only holds about 6 to 8 persons at a time, but since the food is delicious, there is always a constant flow. her usually quiet and calm demeanor has been put aside these days for a more stressful one. it's normal. i walked in the door and the words just spilled out of her mouth about how she is there alone, working from 8 in the morning until 10 at night. 'yo sola!'

i listened. i tried to empathize. i tried to offer words of assurance and comfort, 'you will get through this.' she even smiled when i said that she must take care not to get too stressed so that she gets sick. i said that she has to imagine being at home in her town of puebla, mexico. imagine the sun and the warmth. 'smiling is good.'

my first thought was 'why don't they just close for a couple of days?' but then here in new york 'the show must go on.' for some reason work very often is the call of the day, plus, the rent has to be paid. one friend once mentioned that it is amazing that you can come from a little town in mexico, and make it to open and own your own restaurant in new york. i thought, true. but there is a price for dreaming the american dream. i prefer a nice glass of wine with friends while sitting outside of some terrace of some european city. ahhh... the dream life of angels.

4 comments:

Jorge said...

The american dream versus the dream life of angels. The show must go on versus a nice glass of wine with friends. Pero también en Europa hay gente que vive como _en_ Los Ángeles (LA).

l'air de temps said...

i'm wondering if i am clinging to days that are passing quickly. that is, where there is time to sit and linger over a glass of wine with friends. still i think i shall try, and i suspect i am not alone...

Mélanie said...

My dream will sound more like a mexican dream ...
actually NYC is my favorite town and Mexico my favorite country and my 2nd country may be opening a mexican restaurant in NYC would be my mexican american dream ..Love your blog.I feel like I am in NYC , sharing a sunny day with my starbucks cup of coffee

l'air de temps said...

hi Mélanie,
if you opened a mexican restaurant in NYC you would be very successful, we love good food here as you know. NY has such a mix of people it's yummy eating here. one time i tried to eat food from a different country every night for one week. it was fun.

thanks for stopping by and i look foward to reading your blog.