The other day I finally did it—I actually stopped at one of the little roadside stands with the tiny cardboard sign that says “tamales 4 sale.” As soon as I pulled up, the older hispanic guy who had been napping and listening to salsa music on the radio opened his car door and waved at me. I rolled my window down:
“Hola Señor! Tu tiene tamales? Quantos cuestan?”
“Oh… you speaka Spanish?? Where you learna Spanish my friend?”
“Mi clase de espanol en colegio, y me trabajo.”
“Ahh…. Vetty good!”
I bought a half dozen tamales and a beef burrito. Then I handed him a twenty.
“Tiene cambio señor?”
“Sí. I tengo.”
I took my change, put the car in reverse, got back on the road and went home. I was happy I bought them, and he was happy to see me. My Spanish isn’t great (clearly), but I can’t even explain how happy they are simply because you’ve tried.
Try it sometime. Make the roadside tamale man smile. You’ll smile yourself too.