I went to the taco truck for lunch today, and had the following conversation (translated sloppily from the original Spanish).
me: Three… with chicken… and some rice, please.
cashier kid: Chicken and rice?
me: No, three chicken tacos, with some rice on the side. Because Filipinos don’t know how to eat without rice.
Honduran girl: You’re right, Ecuadorans are like that. If there’s no rice, it’s not eating.
Ecuadoran lady: Who’s Filipino? Ooh, those Filipinos eat that egg. That egg that has the little half developed creature inside. The first time I saw it I was horrified. It’s like a fetus, like you’re eating a baby that’s growing, but it’s dead and you eat it. What do you call that?
me: We call that “balut.” So, did you eat it?
Ecuadoran lady: Yes, I ate it up. and it was delicious. But when I first saw it I was horrified.
me: You ate it! Even I’ve never eaten it.
Ecuadoran lady: Yes, I ate it. It was delicious. What kind of egg is it anyway?
me: It’s a duck egg.
Ecuadoran lady: Duck! And you have those little fried rolls, what do you call those?
me: We call those “lumpia.”
Ecuadoran lady: Delicious. When I went to dinner at the Filipino people’s house we had those, the egg, the baby egg, and then some shrimp. Pure cholesterol. It was delicious but when I stood up I felt dizzy. No, no, no… pure cholesterol.
me: That’s right. When you go to Filipino party you don’t have to drink. And we don’t dance. We just overeat.
Ecuadoran lady: You eat! There’s no dancing or drinking. You eat! And you sing that karaoke!
me: Oh my goodness, this woman knows my people. You’re all Ecuadoran here?
Ecuadoran lady: Yes, except the girl, she’s Honduran…
me: And don Roberto…
Ecuadoran lady: Yes, Roberto is from the place where they wake up at five and go to bed at one.
me: They work hard.
Ecuadoran lady: Sheesh, they work hard. The song says “como México, no hay dos” (there’s nothing like Mexico)
don Roberto (to cashier kid): He wants everything but guacamole. He’s been here before.
Ecuadoran lady: You been here before?
me: Yes, this is day three.
Ecuadoran lady: What do you mean day three?
me: I came here yesterday and the day before. I’m so glad you opened because trying to get tacos in Manhattan…
don Roberto: Yes… On Friday we’ll have fish tacos, for Good Friday.
me: Fish tacos!
cashier kid: That’s $8. Thank you.
me: When will you start serving Filipino food?
Ecuadoran lady: You mean that egg, what’s it called?
Ecuadoran lady: Balut, the eggs of the Filipnos (los huevos de los filipinos)
me: oh no! ma’am Filipinos have the other eggs too, the regular kind.
Ecuadoran lady: Ay! … the duck eggs that Filipinos eat! Not the huevos of the Filipinos themselves!
me: Oh my goodness, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Ay, los latinos… no no no. No conversation is complete until somebody gets sexually harrassed.