“Who wants more tacos?”
It was clearly a rhetorical question from our pal Leslie. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s tacos. Although, given the number we’d already consumed in our short trip to Baja, we were wondering if there might be such a thing as a taco overdose. I can tell you we’ve tested the limits and are all just fine.
“I’m having chicken. What do you all want?” Leslie asked as she popped up to return to the counter of our favorite taco stand in Ensenada. The three of us replied with chicken, chicken, and adobada. We sat at the table continuing our chat as Leslie ordered the next round.
Ensenada is a tourist port so the locals generally speak English well. But Leslie was intent on speaking Spanish and not being a gringa tourist expecting conversations in English.
“Queremos tres pollo y uno abogado,” she told the cook.
Immersed in our conversation, we didn’t notice right away that the cook was quietly laughing to himself. He set to making the tacos as Leslie waited. After a few moments, Jim suddenly straightened up with a confused and somewhat alarmed look on his face. “Wait a second! Did Leslie just order a lawyer?”
Leslie turned to us quickly, a look of horror on her face. “What?!?”
By this time the cook couldn’t contain himself anymore. A huge smile cracked his face from ear-to-ear and his body began shaking with laughter.
“Abogado. That’s lawyer in Spanish,” Jim said. “Right?”
“Yes,” I replied.
Did Leslie just order a lawyer?Jim
“Leslie just ordered a lawyer,” Jim said, starting to look quite amused.
Leslie looked at the cook apologetically. “I promise I don’t want a lawyer!” The cook continued to laugh and assured her it was ok.
“How do you say that?” Leslie asked, pointing at the adobada.
The cook patiently sounded it out for her. She tried to repeat it back several times but failed. Finally she just looked at us as said, “Fine, you guys are in charge of ordering from now on.”
Leslie sat down at the table with the tacos, deflated. As we polished off that round of taco goodness, it was my turn to have a lightbulb moment realization.
“Wait a second. Jim, you speak the least Spanish of all of us. How did you know abogado is lawyer?,” I asked.
“From TV commercials back home. You know, all the late-night ones that advertise ‘abogados’,” he replied.
“Seriously?,” I asked. “You know like three words of Spanish and lawyer is one of them?”
Jim shrugged and laughed. As we left, the cook was still laughing, too.
Leslie never managed to get the pronunciation between abogado and adobada sorted. But now all we have to say to each other is “three chickens and a lawyer walk into a taco stand” to send us into gales of laughter.
See? Tacos make everything better. Even when nothing is wrong.