This year has not been the best for me so far. Many unpleasant things have happened and the Year of the Monkey is not over yet. I am a Tiger and Monkeys do not like us.
The string of unfortunate events started with my little chicken fracturing her foot. Four days later, I got laid off from my job. Then, one of my laptops exploded. Following that, I got a ticket for one hundred and fifty dollars. My older chicken has also declared war on me because of her boyfriend. All these things may seem minor, as indeed they are, but not having a job makes all these events seem catastrophic.
Being jobless has also meant not visiting restaurants to take pictures of food, my favorite thing to do. That has hit me hard as food photography is at the crux of who I am.
In an effort to console myself, I decided to go somewhere, anywhere, to take photos of something on a plate. I decided to go to Placita Los Girasoles with my little chicken and her friend. It was close and tamales only cost three dollars a piece. A tamale is a dish made of masa (a type of corn dough), which is steamed in a corn husk. Bits and pieces of pork are mixed into the masa, giving it a luscious flavor.
We first went in the morning, a little before noon, and the tamales were not ready yet, much to my dismay. Then we went back in the afternoon. The couple in front of me ordered thirteen tamales, the last thirteen left! My heart sank and in a brief moment of bravery, I asked them if they would please allow me to buy just one of the tamales? With a generous smile they said yes – first act of kindness.
With a massive grin on my face, I went to pay for the tamal with a debit card. The lady at the counter told me that they only took cash. Another blow. She must have seen the look of deep disappointment on my face and she said, “Don’t worry, you can have it. Just pay me later.” Second act of kindness in less than five minutes!
These two little events made me ponder and put things in perspective. There a good souls everywhere and tiny gestures can make a big difference.
Who knew that a tamal could make me smile again?