A painting in a Cuban restaurant
When I got to Memphis, the first stop (after settling in) was a popular restaurant founded in Memphis in 1970, Huey’s. Not knowing the history, I ordered a Tea and Salad. This is how the conversation went between the Memphians (including the waiter) and I.
Ashley and Sister Dannise: You are going to want to order a burger
Ardas: And fries
Me: I just want salad…and water.
Waiter: Welcome to Huey’s! What will you like to have?
Me: What salad’s do you suggest?
Waiter: Well, I haven’t had any but they say that the –
Me: I will take the Spinach Salad and a glass of water.
Waiter: Is that all you want?
Me: How much Salad do I get?
Waiter: A lot but, you don’t want to try a burger?
Everyone at the table is now quite. I can sense little Ardas shaking his head.
Me: Okay, I’ll get a burger! What kind should I get?
Waiter: Well, we have the world famous Huey’s burger, the smokey melt burger, the west cost burger, the sunshine burger-
Me: What is the sunshine burger?
Waiter: It’s served with cheddar cheese, grilled mushrooms, and topped with an over-medium fried egg and crispy bacon
Me: That sounds good. I’ll take it.
Waiter: you want your yoke running or a scrambled egg?
Ashley: Choose scrambled, the running yoke gets messy.
The burger was enjoyable but I did not eat all of it…this was the conversation that happened when I didn’t finish it:
Ashley: Me and my mom are very frugal… so finish it or save it.
Me: I’ll save it.
By the time we got home, I forgot about the less than half of burger sitting on the dashboard and it stayed in the car for two nights! It eventually went in the trash…but now that Huey’s is a thousand miles away, I wouldn’t mind having another burger.
Even though it’s cold outside, I gave in and ordered Vanilla ice cream mixed with nuts. It was so good.
15 June 2014 Sunday
After that shop we ran out of time and went to the pizza shop where we all planned to meet. Since we were the first ones, we waited outside. It’s there we came across a cult of some sort, an American man from Utah, his wife and followers stopped us. They acted like they were Christians but their testimonies did not sound convincing. They did not testify to the water baptism nor the Holy Ghost and kept saying everyone lived in the same apartment. When they gave us a tract, it was over 30 people in the picture! Children included. It seemed weird. Juan pulled me aside and told me they were a cult and we quickly got away. It seemed also weird that they did not have a church even though they were trying to witness- of what? I don’t know.
After everyone came, we walked quickly to a bar-restaurant to watch the World Cup. By this time I was missing church. It felt weird being anywhere else and not in service. During the game, I sat beside Dr. Anderson who was great company. We spoke about the readings for the class. Her article in particular. It was something to actually read an article and have the author sitting right next to you willing to talk to you about their work! This was the second thing I appreciated that day (the first being able to make a video of the indigenous woman explain the meaning of her flag and Lisset willing translating everything).
I don’t remember all we spoke about Dr. Anderson did explain the last line of the article to me: “This treatment unfortunately sends the message that we are not really welcome in the country; every day that remind us in a million little ways.” I asked her why she used the word little as I thought little would damper the plight that the black argentines are suffering with. However she told me that little refers to the micro-violence’s of putting people in their ‘place’ and reminding them constantly of the color of their skin. Little refers to all the small events that break us down. I say us, because I can relate to their situation…or at least I think I can.
Dr. Anderson also explained to me, the word Enculturation. She told me that the term assimilation is now outdated, I guess because people are often mixing with one another anyway and the term enculturation means to be forced to let go of what you are (your culture) and forced to pick up a new one. In this case, you don’t really have a choice.
I ordered some good ice cream! I shared it with Juan who I notice loves to eat.
Argentina won against…well, I don’t know who they were playing against but they did win. The place went crazy and I think the most noise came from my table…a table full of Americans.
We ate dinner at another restaurant close to home…I think.
The first restaurant we ate at was in the neighborhood not to far from where we were staying.
-The owner of the restaurant invited me to a music show later that night- which I turned down. Then he shared with me his wine vault… I wanted to tell him I didn’t drink but I smiled and snapped a picture. After the long lunch, he brought champagne to the table and gave me mine personally asking me to taste it…. I was a bit embarrassed by his kindly affection towards me. After telling him two to three times I didn’t drink, he gave up.
14 June 2014 Saturday
Before we left out, we got 500 pesos from Dr. Anderson. She informed us that it was for food. I was having hard time thinking in pesos and not dollars. I tried to save.
The first restaurant we visited was Guaresnei’s. It was started by Pablo Mora who said he was only 12 years old when he started 23 years ago. He also said he taught himself how to cook. I wanted something small and ordered a chicken salad. Little did I know, that the cook believed in large portions! I got a big lunch that I shared with those around me.
After the lunch, I thought we were going to get up and go exploring but we sat around the long table and talked and also watched the World Cup. We also ordered dessert, something I never do in New York. I never order coffee because I never drink coffee, however, I ordered some today and I regret I did because the coffee gave me a stomach ache. The cheese cake was scrumptious!
I spoke to the owner a little more. He invited me to a dance later on tonight, of course I didn’t go. He also showed me his wine vault. I don’t drink wine but It was impressive, I guess. I think the most impressive thing on the owner part was him starting a restaurant at 12 years old!