Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco de Mayo in Seoul

Today is Cinco de Mayo, or Fifth of May, here in Korea. Well, everywhere, actually, at least it is when the sun rises in any particular locale, or actually whenever it is after midnight. Despite our USAn delight in the event, it is only celebrated in parts of Mexico, and is a remembrance of the Mexican army's defeat of French forces at Puebla on this date in 1862. While they won the battle, France won the war, and placed Maximilian I on the Mexican throne, where he ruled until his execution by Buenito Juarez. In fact, the whole kerfluffle was about overdue loan payments.

ANYWAY, I met up with a few folks in Jonggak this afternoon for a celebration of the much-loved holiday at a Mexican restaurant called TomaTillo's. Their Facebook page showed about 300 confirmed participants, but 2/3 of that number were in line when I arrived at a few minutes past one. I finally got served my food nearly an hour and a half later. Few people realized there was a food line and a drinks line. And the food line was much slower since they were making everything to order--as well they should have!

While I was queueing, after Andy informed me he would be late, I felt a tug on my sleeve. I looked around to find a face that was familiar, but not exactly known to me. It was a petite young woman with lovely hazel eyes, who said, "Aren't you the blogger?"

A quick flash of recognition--it was Foreigner Joy, whose blog you can find in my Blog Roll to your right! It was a little like meeting a celebrity, in that there suddenly before me was someone I knew without actually knowing. Talking to her certainly helped the line move faster, especially since the guy in front of us ordered 20 tacos!

We got our food and went around to the public space--not really a park--between the skyscraper Tomatillo's is in and the one next to it. Here is what it looked like when I arrived:

Cinco de Mayo at Tomatillo's--early
The next band starts to play:

Cinco de Mayo at Tomatillo's--early
Here is what it looked like later in the day:

Cinco de Mayo at Tomatillo's
They offered several specials, including 2000 W tacos and 3000 W Mexican beer imports, like Corona, Sol, and Dos Equis. Now, common sense dictated to me that the margin on a 3000 W beer imported from North America, even in considerable bulk, was bound to be miniscule--or possibly non-existent. So I asked this guy named Steve, who seemed to be the head honcho, about it. The profit per bottle, he figured, was going to be 100 to 150 won--about 7 to 12 cents. 'Course, they sold every bit of it, so they made their profit point. Here is a picture of my friends buying beer (I kick myself that I did not get a shot of myself with Joy!):

Beer line at Tomatillo's
This was the restaurant's first run at this event, and I feel it was quite a success. They did run out of food, and beer, and, well, everything--but that's because the response was much bigger than they anticipated. I'm sure next year will be smoother. Despite that, it was a lovely afternoon with mild weather, generally good music, good food, Mexican beer and fine companions.

Ah, I hear you asking, what's a Mexican fiesta without a mariachi band? What, indeed!


Anonymous said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


Foreigner Joy said...

It was like meeting a celebrity for me too! Sorry I waltz off and didn't return. It was great to meet you! hehe maybe we will run into each again sometime.

HAve a nice Wednesday~

SuperDrew said...

Thanks for not showing me dancing in that last video. One Youtube video of me dancing is enough.