Taco Literacy has taken a quick break, but more to come soon, including Taco Literacy in China–Qingdao, China to be exact. This summer, I’m working on a couple Taco Literacy-related articles, a course description, as well as putting together what I hope will become a larger project. Taco Literacy will also be on the road, presenting at the Watson Conference in Louisville in October, as well as the Modern Languages Convention in January 2017. I just presented on Taco Literacy in New York City in May at the #SobremesaFestival held at City College, CUNY.
Back to China. The last time I visited China (Shanghai 2014), I did meet some new friends near campus. Let me tell you the story briefly. I was teaching Autobiographical Writing to college students at Shanghai University in 2014. As I was exploring alone just outside the city gates, I came across this taco stand.
“No manches,” I said.
I had just returned from Oaxaca and Chilangolandia before heading to Shanghai. I was sporting a Virgen de Guadalupe t-shirt from the Basilica in DF. As I strolled up to the counter, I met this fine new amigo, the owner of the stand.
He looked at me, and I looked at him, and then he looked at my shirt. I looked down.
“Mexican,” I said, pointing at myself.
“Mexican!” he said. “Mexican, Mexican!”
“Mexican, Mexican!” I said still pointing at myself. Then I pointed at a sombrero and sarape hanging on the wall.
“Mexican,” he said.
I browsed the menu and ordered a few things to try. There were some tables nearby so I took a seat. My new amigo brought over some Cuervo with lemons to do some shots with me. Eso!
A minute later, he brought out the comidas.
Well hell, what did you expect? The mass-produced Taco Bellesque taco, exported the world over. Call it Am-Mex if you ask me.
As I was eating, amigo returned, with his wife. She spoke English too, which helped me to ask about the restaurant. I asked her how long it had been opened.
“Almost two years,” she said. “We will move to a bigger restaurant someday because Chinese people like tacos.”
I couldn’t argue with that.
We took some photos together and exchanged emails.
When I head back to China this time in a few weeks, I won’t be heading to Shanghai to meet up with my buddies, but heading to the country’s beer capital, Qingdao. There are a couple Mexy spots I’ll be checking out, so keep up on Instagram and Twitter for the next adventure #TacoLiteracy.