Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday's Mambo 64 Musings: And now it's September!

Last weekend we were graced with many new customers at Mambo 64 (thanks to LoHud, friends' blogs, Yelp, Trip Advisor Facebook,  and more!) and they asked me the same question: When did you open?

Honestly my friends, in many ways it feels like a looooong time ago! But truth be told, it's only been a few months. The adventure continues!

I was thinking about how beautifully intertwined our lives can be. When I was just 19, sitting in Casa Peret (Jamie and Cary, I'm sure you were with me!) student lunch cafe in Barcelona, drinking wine--which was cheaper than water--and eating, eating, when I met the person that would become my year-long roommate: Margarita Maza.

Marga, who is Chilean, shared an apartment with Montse and Maria Cinta, two Catalanas. They were looking for a fourth roommate, and that's exactly what I became. That lunch in Casa Peret, and the casual conversation I had with Marga, led me to find a place to live, as well as people who taught me so much about my new home. On top of that, I had--serendipitously--found contemporaries from a totally different culture who were as fascinated by many of the same things I was.  Our living situation was ideal.We enjoyed hanging out, listening to music, going out, and of course, cooking.

But the whole thing--and my point of today's post--is that my year abroad also taught me something huge about people: I learned that despite our very diverse upbringings, we could share so much. For example, and I remember so vividly this moment, we were sitting on the beach in Tarragona--where Marga's mom lived. And we were talking about qualities we enjoyed and appreciated in people. Like a lightbulb (raised on cartoons, you know!), it went off in my head: we are so different as far as where we grew up, both geographically and politically, yet we share similar tastes, interests, and values.
With Marga at Her Home During our Reunion Visit!
That sharing has, thankfully, occurred on numerous occasions--and on many continents: Asia, Africa, and South America, North America--as well as Europe. Whether they're market vendors, servers, students, managers, tourists--it seems that I have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people with whom I bonded on one level or another;  and each time I am delighted and amazed by it...and often moved to tears when it's time to say goodbye.

These days I most enjoy meeting different customers--who also have a myriad of backgrounds and stories! And though thankfully I'm not as tearful upon my customers' departures (!),  I continue to find people fascinating--even, and perhaps especially, when we're from different places--but share a love or appreciation of something, be it a flavor--or something totally non-food related. 

The adventure continues...