giovedì, gennaio 26, 2006

Babalu Blog: Life in Miami

Life in Miami

I ordered a Cuban sandwich for lunch yesterday from one of my favorite Cuban joints near the office. It was a busy day so I decided to pick it up and have lunch at my desk instead of enjoying the ambiance of a typical Cuban cafeteria.

As I waited at the counter with the aroma of Cafe Cubano wafting all around me, one of the waitresses comes in from the street out of uniform and carrying a big bag. She sits down at the counter across from me, says hello to her fellow waitresses and hands the bag over to one of them.

The woman takes the bag to the back and the waiting waitress sitting across from me makes idle chit chat with the others all the while almost nervously keeping her eyes on the door to the back where the woman with the bag disappeared into.

A few short minutes later, the door in the back opens and the woman comes out bag in hand. This time I can see the bag clearly. It's a Payless Shoe bag with what appears to be a few pairs of shoes inside.

"Four point three," the woman with the bag says to the waiting waitress.

"That can't be" the waitress responds. She takes the bag from the woman and ruffles around inside the bag. There was something in there that wasnt supposed to be so she takes it out and hands it back to the woman.

The woman dutifully takes the bag and heads to the back once again.

The one waitress that's still working in the place asks the one sitting at the counter "How do you get it over to..."

"I have a friend," the girl interrupts.

The door to the back opens once again and the Payless Shoe Bag carrying woman comes out.

"Four point one," she says.

The waiting waitress lets out a whispered "Coño" and takes the bag, opens it and starts taking out its contents and placing the shoes on the counter.

There's a pair of sneakers, two pairs of chancletas, flip flops, and one pair of nurse type shoes in black.

The waiting waitress picks up one of the pair of filp flops and takes the tags off, uses a knife to cut the little plastic tie and places the flip flops one by one in the bag. She goes on to do this for the other pairs of shoes.

Once she's done she hands the bag to the woman who heads to the back yet again.

The woman comes out a few seconds later "The same. Four point one."

The waiting waitress stands up, reaches into the bag that the woman is now holding open and pulls out one of the sneakers.

She takes the laces off and tosses it back in the bag. Pulls out the other sneaker and removes the laces. She then does the same for the nurse type shoes.

Once all the laces are removed, the woman takes the bag to the back and a moment later comes out smiling.

"Four point zero," she says. The waiting waitress smiles.

My sandwich finally arrives as the waiting waitress takes the bag, thanks all the girls with waved kisses and heads out the door.

I pay my bill. "Gracias, Irela," I say to my waitress and head out the door Cuban sandwich in hand.

As I get to my truck, I see the waiting waitress talking to a guy next to a van. The guy slides open the side door of the van, takes the Payless Shoes bag from the waiting waitress and tosses it on a scale he has sitting in the van.

I see the guy nod and as I'm driving out of the parking lot the waiting waitress hands the guy with the van some cash, kisses him on the cheek and walks away.

Someone somewhere in Cuba is about to get a package with two pairs of chancletas and a pair of sneakers and nurse shoes without shoelaces.

Posted by Val Prieto at January 26, 2006 08:23 AM | TrackBack
Babalu Blog: Life in Miami