Monday, May 19, 2008
About once a week, my job takes me to a construction site (and that is about all I will ever blog about my job. There are too many cautionary tales to do otherwise). In case you are not aware, many construction industry workers, particularly in the “unskilled” trades such as blocklaying, drywall hanging, roofing, and especially asbestos abatement work, are Hispanic. I saw this not to start a discussion about immigration policy and the lack thereof. I have plenty of friends and family who make Lou Dobbs look like Cesar Chavez and I spend a great deal of time biting my tongue around them. I mention it because the employment trend has made my lunch hour on the jobsite much more delicious.
Everyday there are two taco trucks that visit the job site. You can get a burger or a ham sandwich, but more importantly, you can get a variety of traditional Mexican dishes. The tacos are the flour soft tortillas with cilantro and peppers instead of cheese and sour cream. But I like the quesadillas. For five bucks I can get two chicken quesadillas and a soda. That doesn’t even pay for the gas it takes me to drive to any nearby fast-food places.
And when I say ‘soda’ I mean not just Coke or Mountain Dew, I can get the obscure fruit sodas that are usually only found in specialty grocery stores. Champagne cola has little in common with standard American colas except for the carbonation. These are lighter, sweeter, and nearly clear. And we all know I love obscure soda flavors.
The way the taco truck works is that you order at the window to the two ladies working the grille. Then you go pay a guy that is standing at a small TV tray sized folding table. In just a few minutes, a piping hot fresh quesadilla is waiting.
One day as I was walking over to pay with my food, a rather redneck looking construction worker noticed my food and asked how it was. I said “delicious”.
He walked up to the window and said “Uno case-a-diya poy-yo” in a thick southern accent.
The money-taking guy kind of chuckled and asked me “He did say ‘pollo’ didn’t he?”
I smiled back and said “He sure did.”
And this is how cross-cultural understanding operates. Over food. Besides, quesadillas de pollo SON deliciosas.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: Place all tirades about how this little vignette is emblematic of how the country is destroying itself here.