The entrepeneurial spirit of Miami

If you’ve driven anywhere in Dade County, there’s no doubt you’ve seen the street vendors at major intersections. You can buy anything from them these days, from flowers to churros to peanuts to peeled oranges to mamoncillos to bottled water to inflatable Spidermans. Those vendors brave the heat and traffic daily just to sell a few things and hopefully make a buck or two.

But early this morning my buddy Ef calls me from his car while on his way to work: “Dude,” he says to me and I can tell he’s smiling by the sound of his voice. “I have seen it all.”

I ask what he means, he says “I’m stopped at a light near the Palmetto expressway and up ahead there’s this big truck parked on the side of the road. On the back of the truck I can see girl.”

“Go on, go on” I say. This is getting interesting.

“As I get closer I see she’s doing something back there on the truck.”

Now, it’s like 6:30 in the morning, mind you. You dont see many people out on the street corners peddling stuff that early.

“She’s real busy on the back of the truck. I see her moving around quite a bit.”

He pauses for a second, lets out a slight laugh.

“And there’s a few people in traffic in front of me holding dollar bills out there car windows.”

At this point, Im starting to think the girl is advertising some gentlemen’s club or something.

“Then,” my buddy continues. “There’s like two or three guys going from car to car picking up the bills and going to the back of the truck. A few seconds later they’re running back to the cars with something in their hands.”

“As I get next to the truck,” he says. “I finally realize what the hell their selling out here in the side of the road from the back of a truck. Take a guess what it is.”

“I havent the faintest idea what it could be.”

He laughs again, clears his throat and says “Theyre selling freaken coladas. They making Cuban coffee from a machine mounted on the back of the truck. On Bird Road and the Palmetto, at 6 in the morning, making and selling cafe cubano from the back of a truck parked on the side of the road.”

It takes a minute to sink in, but when it does I say the only thing that comes to mind while my buddy Ef says the exact same thing at the exact same time:

“Freaken’ Cubans!”