“Excuse me, sir, are you looking for something?”
I’ve been spending a lot of time at mi Linda’s place lately. It is in an area that is muy different from my neighborhood. It has gotten some getting used to.
As I rode the bus home this evening I looked around to realize that I was the sole Latino on the bus. Everyone was white. I didn’t even know that white people knew about the DC bus system. It was strange, but a good strange.
Looking out the bus window was a different type of strange as well. Gone are the Spanish signs, liquor stores, funeral homes, Chinese take-out, and my beloved Pupuserias. I rode by some kind of a place called a “wine bar”. A wine bar? What in the name of holy Tecate is a wine bar? Do you sit at a bar and only order wine? Do you sit around twirling your glass? Do you put a lime in any type of wine? I’m afraid to go into that place. I’m afraid that I would cry.
I’ve been on the 30 buses several times and have yet to see a fight break out. Not even one. Actually, I saw a guy try to get a couch on the bus. He had some choice palabras to give the bus driver, but that was the most activity that I’ve ever seen. Yesterday the bus driver spoke with the passengers about their day. I wasn’t even aware that the bus drivers were allowed to speak with the passengers. I actually wished that I could talk about basketball to join in on a conversation, but then realized that basketball isn’t even a real sport. But still. What a wonderful world this is.
On the walk from the bus stop all the houses are perfectly manicured. Where do people keep all of their used beer bottles? Why aren’t they all over their lawn and the street? I don’t understand…
Not even a weed in between the sidewalk cracks. Are these magic sidewalks?
“Saw you looking around and were wondering if you’re lost.”
Have you heard of a strange land called Lebanon? Neither had I. Turns out that Chinese take-out is very out of date and the people in this neighborhood order food from merchants from Lebanon. There is a restaurant that caters to the people with the magic sidewalks called Quick Pita. They serve strange foods like Shawarma, Kabab, Falafel, and Hummos.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “El Guapo, all those words sound like things you avoid like the plague.” I agree my amigos. In mi mind, I think of those words and would use them like, “Si, I went out with this girl two months ago, one thing led to another, now I have this falafel growing up and down my place.” Or maybe, “Dude, you need to get that checked out. That definitely looks like a baba ghanouj on your lip!” The thing is, once I got past their unappetizing names, it tastes bueno. Actually, muy bueno. Does it beat a pupusa? Oh no. The Lebanoneners have yet to reach the peak of their culinary skills.
The people of this neighborhood are obviously not used to seeing someone as guapo as myself because I often catch them staring at me as I walk by their homes. One woman shielded her young teenage daughter as I walked by. She needn’t worry. I am taken.
“You sure that you’re in the right place?”
Yes officer. I am positive. Gracias. I’m going home.
Even the police officers are nice here. It must be the magic sidewalks.