If you have ever been to any tourist focused town in Mexico, you are well acquainted with the constant harassment by different vendors trying to sell you timeshares, whale watching trips, silver etc…they find you everywhere and they don’t take your first no for an answer. Quite honestly, I find it exhausting and an excellent reason to leave and never return to Mexico. Since my last trip to Mexico they have even become more insidious…timeshare salesmen posing as grocery store employees at the Mega and acting as if they really are trying to help you…that is until they offer to buy your groceries if you just come to a presentation and then you realize that you’ve been had.
It was a similar situation that led us to Miriam. We were exhausted from spending the day at the marina in Los cabos saying no to all manner of offers that led us to say yes to the first restaurant vendor to cross our paths in San Jose del Cabo. The lucky hawker turned out to be with restaurant Don Sanchez. He gregariously offered us a free appetizer for coming in…but more on that in a bit.
Cue Miriam, our waitress for the evening. Miriam is a big ball of spicy energy packed into the body of a little mexican woman…part drill sergeant, part betty boop. She spoke enough English to understand 90% of what we were saying, but it was the missing 10% that would have ensured a smooth dining experience. Now don’t get me wrong…I have no command of Spanish, so in the same role as her I would fail miserably.
Remember that free appetizer I mentioned? Well, it turns out you don’t get to choose which appetizer. One is preselected for you. The first option arriving at our table was beef carpaccio. One member of our group is a dedicated vegetarian and preferably vegan. She can tolerate watching people eat meat, but the arrival of raw beef was a bit much, not just for her but for all of us. Miriam offered the plate around and none of us would try one; bewildered, she took it away. A few minutes later the second appetizer attempt arrived….Cabrito….translated to English this means “baby goat” and not an improvement over beef carpaccio, matter of fact this was about 10 times worse. However when it arrived and she announced what it was we all broke into a huge fit of laughter…barely able to choke out the words, “none of us want to eat baby goat.”
At this point, the dining experience could not be over fast enough to suit me. I was so uncomfortable and quite nervous about what she would bring next. As she approached our table we all kind of held our breath. She plops down a fresh basket of chips for our guacamole, busts out laughing and announces, “It’s chicken!”
There could not have been a more perfect thing to say. We all joined her in her laughter and the rest of the evening was a perfect delight, despite several additional language miscues. The food was also quite good once we started getting what we actually ordered.