Today, while I was chopping down a tree, a woman walked by in the street, pulling a cooler in a wagon.
“Tamale?” she said, pointing to the cooler.
I considered, then gestured with my fingers to wait a second. I ran inside and found a couple of dollars, then ran back out.
“Cheekin?” she asked (that’s my best attempt at phonetic spelling). I nodded yes. Then added “Si!” for good measure.
She rummaged through her cooler and found a couple of chicken tamales. After a second she found them, put them in a brown lunch bag, and handed them to me. Then she more or less said “Tienes Agua para tomar?” (That’s my best attempt at using my Portuguese to understand, and write, her Spanish). Luckily, she also made a drinking motion with her hands.
I ran inside and got her a glass of water. When I came back out, a guy had pulled up in a truck and was buying something like 20 tamales. He told me he had purchased them from the woman before and that they were great. Before he left, he wished the woman a good weekend in what I’d describe as “Mormon mission president Spanish,” i.e. heavily accented but grammatically correct Spanish.
While the woman was drinking the glass of water, I said “Como…tu…chamas?” (That is literally what I said, not an estimate.) She responded by telling me her name was Consuela.
Anyway, the woman eventually left and went on selling tamales to other people nearby. I eventually tried the tamales, and they were delicious.