Madam Cocaina:A Queen Pin's Story 3By: Fatima Munroe
“¿Cuántos en tu fiesta? (How many in your party?)” she asked kindly as my bodyguards all filed in around me.
“13. También requerimos una cabina grande en la espalda, preferentemente en la parte posterior (Thirteen. We also require a large booth, preferably in the back),” I replied as the wait staff all turned towards us simultaneously and sprang into action. I was glad to know that once again, my reputation preceded me.
The waiter hurriedly brought us menus, but I already knew what I wanted. “Me gustaría la langosta a la plancha con calamares, camarones y champiñones con arroz y un vaso frío de cerveza. Por favor que sea rápido y traer a mis hombres lo que necesitan, así (I would like the grilled lobster with squid, shrimp and mushrooms with rice, and a cold glass of beer. Please make it quick, and bring my men whatever they need as well),” I replied dismissively as I handed the waiter back the menu. He nodded his head up and down as another waiter came and took the order for my men.
I made a mental note of his actions. Agusto ordered me a plate of shrimp and risotto as Gustavo rose to find out where the first waiter had gone with my order. Just because I wanted my food quickly didn’t mean I wanted my men to watch me eat. Gustavo came back and sat down quietly, smoothing down the front of his shirt as he looked around the restaurant.
“¿Qué es Gustavo? (What is it, Gustavo?)”
“Él es la intoxicación por los alimentos. ¿Qué quiere usted que haga? (He’s poisoning your food. What do you want me to do?)”
I was pissed. “Vacío el restaurante discretamente como sea posible. El personal se mantiene (Empty the restaurant as inconspicuously as you can. The staff stays).” I watched as Gustavo politely approached each table and engaged in conversation while the hostess chatted it up at the bar with the bartender. Neither of them paid him any attention as he handed one person at each table a wad of money. They all smiled politely as they walked out of the restaurant and waved at me upon their exit. The wait staff came out with food for tables, and the restaurant was empty with the exception of our party.
"Oye, ¿viste lo que sucedió a la gente de estas tablas? (Hey, did you see what happened to the people at these tables?) he asked confused. We all shook our heads and played dumb. We watched as he questioned the hostess, and she shrugged her shoulders at him before continuing her conversation. I knew the culture here in Ecuador was a lot different than it was back in the states, but I never knew it was THAT different; where I’m from, somebody would be heated!
The first waiter came back with my food and sat it in front of me with a huge grin on his face. “Su comida es servida a señorita. Disfrutar de (Your meal is served, Miss. Enjoy),” he said as he turned on his heel to head back to the kitchen.
I called out, and he quickly turned back around on that heel. “Vienen aquí por un segundo (Come back here for a second).”
“¿Si echas de menos? ¿La comida no es tu gusto? (Yes Miss? Is the food not to your liking?)” he asked deviously. Gustavo was right.
“Nunca he tenido la comida aquí, mis hombres y yo estamos fuera de la ciudad. ¿Es bueno? (I’ve never had the food here, my men and I are from out of town. Is it good?)” I lied, looking him in the eye.
“Sí, sí es realmente buena. Sobre todo las setas y el arroz. Pruébalo, te garantizo que te va a gustar (Yes, yes it’s really good. Especially the mushrooms and rice. Try it, I guarantee you’ll like it),” he replied as he made a move again towards the kitchen.
I stopped him for a second time. “Tiene un asiento con nosotros. Me encantaría saber qué piensas acerca de la comida. Agusto, han el camarero le llevara una placa demasiado. Una placa para el, sabes qué, no pillo tu nombre. ¿Cómo te llamas? (Have a seat with us. I’d love to know what you think about the food. Agusto, have the waiter bring him a plate too. A plate for, you know what, I didn’t catch your name. What’s your name?)” I asked sweetly.
“Chulo,” he replied as he looked around, visibly uncertain of what to do. One look from Gustavo and his mind was made up, whether he agreed with the decision or not. My men shuffled themselves around so that Chulo could sit next to me, but in between Manuel and Flavio. The second waiter came back with Chulo’s empty saucer as he sat the rest of the food down in front of my staff. I scooped a generous helping of the shrimp, mushrooms and rice onto Chulo’s plate before I picked up my fork and dug into my risotto. “Comer los alimentos Chulo. (Eat your food, Chulo)” I said sternly, not wanting him to confuse me for the average bitch.
“Señorita, el dueño no le gusta para que el personal a comer con los invitados (Miss, the owner doesn’t like for the staff to eat with the guests),” Chulo replied shakily. I turned and my eyes locked with Gustavo’s. Reading my mind, he got up and locked the front door to the restaurant before heading to the back to stand guard at the door, amid the frightened glances of the restaurant staff.