By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Waiters from across la Naranjawrote in after my Jan. 12 column on whether Mexicans tip badly. The authors of the two finest letters on the subject work near the Happiest Place on Earth. Let's start with Arriba Anaheim:
I work at the Mimi's in front of Disneyland, where I get tourists from all over the world. Mexicans are extremely generous compared to other nationalities, although I do find something interesting: Mexican immigrants who live in the United States can be horrible tippers, because many arebraceros who come to this country from ranchos or pueblos and aren't used to the fine dining experience. But Mexicans who are tourists are some of the best tippers, because they have the money to come all the way from Mexico City, Monterrey or Guadalajara to visitel ratón Miguelito.
Not as benevolent toward Mexicans was Fed Up in Fullerton:
I was a server at Downtown Disney for three years, and I have to say that Hispanics do not tip worth a shit. I was impeccable in guest and service relations, so clearly it wasn't a case of my lack of service or inability to give prompt, efficient service. Not to mention that I'm half-Hispanic, but give me a fucking break. Mexicans would arrive fresh from Sunday Mass, order the filet or lobster and a slew of souvenir 10-dollar drinks. They would spend $275 and leave a $5-$10 tip and the extra incentive, "Good job, my friend." They can take that compliment and shove it up their ass! Your answer is ridiculous, and we're not in Houston but in sunny California as far as your source goes. Straight up, this is what your readers were seeking as a response, not your sidestepped political response! Take that, you gold-capped bean!
Two points, Fed Up. First, you are a man, and unless an hombre is the bartender, owns the restaurant or is related to the owner, Mexicans will think any guy waiting tables is a joto whose only tip should be a bitch-slap and the advice to get a real job—like busing tables or washing dishes. Second, you'd earn much more if you took my advice and got ass implants.
My boyfriend is Mexican, and when we're trying to decide where to go to eat, he almost always wants Chinese. Same with his family: when we recently visited some friends from Guadalajara, I was looking forward to some tortas ahogadas, but instead was served mu shu pork. Why do Mexicans like Chinese food so much?
Cuisine Confused in the I.E.
Mexicans are eternally fascinated with Chinese, as this column has previously noted. Nothing piques our interest as much as the food. They eat what we eat: beans, pork, goat, turtles, rice, even dogs! But our interest in comida chinaboils down to economics, Cuisine Confused. Like Mexican food, Chinese is an ethnic cuisine where you can feast like a king on a day laborer's salary. I can go to Hot Wok in Fullerton and order the three-item combo with fried rice, chow mein and a drink for about six bucks; not surprisingly, Mexicans fill up most of Hot Wok's tables every time I visit. The value of Chinese food explains the popularity amongst Mexicans of instant ramen. According to the International Ramen Manufacturers Association, Mexicans consumed an average of 9.4 ramen servings in 2004, tops in Latin America and behind only the United States and Russia amongst non-Asian countries. Even the Mexican government distributes ramen to its poor . . . what's that you say? Ramen is a Japanese dish? Don't tell that to a Mexican, who believes anything Asian is chino even when it's Japanese—right, Vietnamese readers?
Got a spicy question about Mexicans? Ask the Mexican at firstname.lastname@example.org. And those of you who do submit questions: include a hilarious pseudonym,por favor, or we'll make one up for you!