One night in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
- Let’s call Beto!
- I texted him but he didn’t reply.
- This guy… he’s playing with our feelings.
- I know… he’s turned us into pasta addicts and then he ghosts us.
Who is Beto? Beto is this guy who makes amazing pasta dishes and lives around the corner from our apartment.
One Saturday evening…
Hungry and desperate Chris and I were walking down the road looking for a restaurant. We’d seen Beto’s restaurant before but it was closed then. The guy living next door said “take a brochure, he cooks Italian food and also delivers!” We put the brochure away and decided to call him the next day.
And so we did. We texted him and ordered an Amatriciana (a tomato-based pasta dish with bacon, onions and chilies) and a Four-cheese pasta (I think there’s no need to explain this one). The food was mouthwatering, it smelled and tasted delicious. We made a promise to ourselves to have it at least 3 times a week, I mean, $4 dollars for home-made, fresh pasta? Why in the world would I cook ever again?
Three days later…
We texted Beto. He didn’t reply. I insisted and texted again, called him twice, I was acting like a drug addict desperate for a fix. He didn’t reply until the following day “I apologize, I had to handle some family matters and couldn’t work yesterday. I’ll open again tomorrow”, it turns out he was lying! He didn’t open the day after, either.
The following Thursday…
Trying not to keep our hopes up, we texted him again but this time he was cooking! We got Amatriciana and Carbonara this time. Again, he had lived up to our expectations. Happy that he was back, we decided to fulfill the plan of getting his food delivered every day I had to teach back to back with no time to prepare dinner.
The Thursday after that…
We texted him again. Fifteen, thirty, forty-five minutes later, no reply. Hopeless, we left the house and embarked ourselves on a journey to get good food for a reasonable price, which wasn’t tacos or anything with a tortilla in it. As we were walking past Beto’s house, we saw him smoking weed with his friends in the living room of his house—doors and windows wide open. I stopped and demanded my pasta.
- Why haven’t you replied to my messages? (with a sense of entitlement)
- I’m sorry, you really don’t want me to cook right now. (holding on to a lamppost to keep his balance)
- How about tomorrow? Will you open tomorrow?
- Tomorrow I’ll definitely open. Sorry again!
- Ok, Beto. I’ll text you tomorrow!
So, he was busy smoking weed, I get it, the guy has his own business and works when he wants to… I guess it’s his right. You should have seen me demanding my pasta from a guy that was totally high. Never in my wildest dream did I imagine I would be begging for food from a pothead. A very humbling experience, I have to say. I couldn’t help it, though. It’s like he gave us heroine to get us addicted and then left us wanting more (I’ve never tried heroine but I’m pretty sure it’s like that)
The following day…
- Text him.
- I just did.
- (10 minutes later…) He hasn’t even seen the message.
- I’ll try texting from a different number.
I had been texting Beto from Chris’s phone, thinking maybe he was overwhelmed by us, I tried contacting him from a different number. The message got through but he never replied.
The next day he had seen both our messages, two blue checks, yet, no response from him.
We’d been totally ignored, but we didn’t care, we were hungry and wanted his pasta. I swallowed my pride and called him again, he didn’t pick up the phone.
Three days later the brochure had been removed from the door… Why, Beto! why did you have to go? To this day we still dream of Beto’s pasta. I’m sure we’ll be reminded of this when we go back to the US and fail to find reasonably priced, fresh Italian food.
We’ll miss you, Beto the pot-headed crazy chef.
- mouthwatering:food that is mouth-watering looks or smells extremely good
- pothead: a person who smokes marijuana, especially habitually
- demand: to ask for something very firmly, especially because you think you have a right to do this
- entitlement: the official right to have or do something, or the amount that you have a right to receive
- get through: to succed in speaking to someone on the telephone