Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mira. Escuche.

Spanish is the language of the kitchens in New York, and possibly all over. I read that in Anthony Bordain’s terrific memoir Kitchen Confidential, and it certainly is true wherever I stop to get breakfast on my way to work.

And it makes me happy. The other day, I was buying a sandwich at a bodega. I brought my sandwich (bag o’ chips and can o’ cream soda included) to the counter, where two people were ringing things up on the cash registers. My sandwich wasn’t wrapped quite right, so my cashier rewrapped it—but not before getting the other one’s attention to show him how it’s done. “Mira,” she said. Look.

Both of these people were Korean. But they were still using Spanish to communicate. I love this country, this city—anywhere that lets cultures mix it up and surprise me.

The next time you’re getting lunch, escuche. Listen.


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