I was lucky enough to have Christmas in Hawaii this year. But, before I got there, I spent a couple of days in Los Angeles at my sister’s. One of those days she was very occupied with her boyfriend’s birthday plans, so she said, “Take my car and go visit your friend in Santa Barbara.”
So I was like, “Cool.” And I did.
My friend and I spent the day in Santa Barbara and then we ate dinner at a fantastic taco place where I ate lengua for the first time. Lengua just means “tongue,” which I feel is very vague. Whose tongue? Where did it come from? Does it count as French kissing when I’m chewing on it?It makes me think of a hispanic woman threatening her children to behave or else they’ll be eating their own “lingua” for dinner.
After dinner, we wanted to find some dessert, because we’re basically professional eaters. My friend goes, “What should we get?”
And I was like, “I don’t know; you’re the one who lives here. I’ll look on Yelp while you pee.”
I browsed the interwebs until I found the place: Fernando’s Churros, the perfectly delicious compliment to our hispanic meal! Only one problem. It was closing in 20 minutes.
As my friend returned from the baños, there was no time for a “cita” (that’s “rendezvous” translated to English translated to Spanish (thanks Google!)). I yelled, “Churros! Quick! Hardly any time!” and swept my friend out of the restaurant.
We got there with five minutes to spare. The parking lot was packed, but miraculously we found a spot right in front of the churro place! We got out of the car and rushed inside.
And then we realized…the churro place was not a churro place. It was a church.
And it was completely filled with Mexicans. And loud music. And decorations: Mexican flags, banners, confetti, tents. There were people shouting and dancing and singing everywhere. There was a DJ and there were people heating tortillas and grilling delicious meats on a grill…inside the church! It was just hundreds of Mexicans having a ginormous fiesta for as far as the eye could see. The lack of parking was starting to make sense.
The music didn’t stop, but, one by one, people started to notice me and my friend. We weren’t dressed for the party. And I was at least a foot taller than anyone else. This fiesta was very clearly not for us.
Fernando’s Churros, huh?
Two extremely confused-looking women came up to us and said in thick accents, “Hello…can we help you?”
I didn’t want to judge Yelp prematurely, so I did a quick double take, just to make sure I hadn’t seen any churros.
NO CHURROS, YELP! NO CHURROS!
And even if there were churros, why would anybody be wanting to sell them to us? This was obviously a private event. You don’t go walking into a party in Harlem asking for fried chicken.
“Are you looking for someone?” one of the ladies asked.
How was I supposed to respond to that? As a white person. Who unknowingly stumbled upon a Southern California Mexican community event looking for someone named “Fernando” (a name my grandpa would inaccurately use to refer to the guy who cuts his grass) who sells churros, the most white-appropriated dessert possible, which you can find being rolled around in carts in every major New York City subway station.
What was I supposed to say to the growing audience of Mexicans who had stopped their fiesta-ing to see why the hell we were there? None of whom, quite obviously, were selling churros to anyone because they were too busy celebrating whoever’s quinceañera.
“Yes, yes you can. Is Fernando here? We’re looking for some churros. You all look like Mexicans…there must be someone here who can help us! Come n, where are they?! Are you hiding them? We know they’re here. Yelp told us.”
No, that’s not what I said.
I said, “Ummmm…………no thank you.”
And with that, we turned around, left the fiesta, and gave up on dessert.
Lesson: don’t ask Yelp for churros because it will send you to a quinceañera assuming somebody named Fernando will have some.
Okay, we didn’t completely give up on dessert. We found some fudge later. I mean, we’re professionals.