Thursday, May 04, 2006

the Mexican market

Monday was the day without a Mexican, only slightly misnamed given the proportion of Mexicans to other Latin Americans that make up the whole of the illegal immigrant population.

I really thought nothing of it Monday at first, not having yet realized. I passed La Esperanza taking Momma to work, but didn't notice it wasn't open till coming back home. I wondered what was up with the place, hoping everything was okay. Driving back that way later to the library I remembered that the Mexican people were taking the day off.

I wondered then, as I passed the market, about the people there. It's not the same as your line cooks not showing up, and it's not quite sticking it to the man. As far as I know, La Esperanza is Mexican owned. I remember when it changed from Sam's Market and Deli to La Esperanza. I wondered then how different it would be. And I was not let down.

Over time, it has become totally a Mexican market and taqueria, though I haven't eaten there yet. I'm still too wedded to Senor Taco to want to try anywhere else. I do stop in though sometimes for a Naranjilla or a Powerball ticket. What was once an empty barren place with the cans spread out trying to look like there was more stuff is now a lively place, packed full of things and stuff. You can transfer money or purchase from a variety of calling cards. You can buy cowboy boots and corn husks. You can buy meat or enjoy a taco and a soccer game or a telenovella. You can buy replica soccer jerseys from a number of Mexican club teams.

They took Monday off too. I'm personally not sure how I feel about the whole day off thing, but it isn't something I can say I disagree with. My question here is really more about the money lost to this particular establishment, or other Mexican owned places, for the day from all colors of people and our various shades. I don't really have an opinion on it other than that, and it was one of my main impressions of my town's day without a Mexican. Thinking of this, I began to consider La Esperanza in a different sense. It seems to be a very successful business, often fairly busy. Regardless of any ethnic majority in goods sold and customers served, it's good for the community in an economic sense. So the economic loss in this store being closed would be both taxes as well as the money made by the owners.

My other impression from Monday was the quiet. I took an old shortcut to downtown that has become unbearable thanks to TDOT insisting on perpetuating bad ideas. There is a fair amount of construction along a mile(ish) of what used to be our route to downtown, and there is always work and the associated pain in the ass traffic malignancies. Monday was still and quiet almost. It seemed like a Saturday at the work sites, mostly quiet with the occasional tractor slowly moving past. Knowing how big the crews generally are, it was a little odd to see them trying to go about their business.

Those were my impressions and what has been stewing in my head for a few days. All this talk about Mexicans makes me want some carnitas con chile. It wasn't that long ago that we had Senor Taco, so I may not be able to justify it again so soon. I also need to visit Soccer Taco in Bearden. I haven't been yet, but apparently it's a Mexican sports bar. I'm sure it'll be a great place to see the American football when fall arrives with the oranging of Knox, but I certainly plan to visit this summer for some World Cup action.

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