The other night I learned that Mariano, the Little Businessman’s oldest brother, is a businessman himself. He used to shine shoes. Now he rents a corn stand and serves elote (corn on the cob) and esquite (corn off the cob in a styrofoam cup). Both versions of corn are slathered in mayo, covered in Parmesan cheese and salt, and dusted generously with tajin (a salty chili powder).

We bought four elotes and one esquite from him. I also tipped him the amount of one for him.

Funny Cecilia, watching the transaction, wanted to know why he got extra money. I explained the concept of a propina (tip). She wanted to know how she could earn one.


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