February is officially over and so is the Expat Blog Challenge, but since I missed a few days of it, I thought I’d keep going into March and complete it.
On Saturday, February 15th, the prompt was, “What the tourists never see in my town that they are really missing out on.”
I had to think about which town is “my town” and decided that both Miami and Melbourne are my towns. Let’s talk about Miami first.
Tourism is an extremely important industry in Miami. Every year, 38 million visitors from across the country and around the world visit the Magic City and spend $17 billion. They descend upon South Beach’s Art Deco District for the nightclubs, the beaches, the shopping, the tropical weather, and come for events such as Art Basel, the Winter Music Conference, the Sony Ericsson Open, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, the Urban Beach Week hip-hop festival, and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. They come for the glitz and the glamour and also because it’s a little seedy. It’s Scarface, Miami Vice, it’s The Birdcage, it’s 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Despite the facade, Miami is the third poorest city in the United States. It is a city of hard-working immigrants. In Miami Beach, they’re just waiters and hotel maids, but they help make Miami what it really is, a diverse metropolis with delicious food, people dancing on their balconies, and the sounds of salsa and African drums playing into the night. Here’s what tourists don’t see.
“Caja china” literary means Chinese box. It is a pork roasting box.
Tourists pay far too much money for delicious Latin food at trendy restaurants. Everyone knows the best Latin food is somewhere else and there’s no beating a roast pork at a Cuban Christmas.