My Pregnancy As Mediated By a Taco Truck by Kim Ip
I had a goal of going to Tacos Sinaloa earlier today to come full circle in my experience with the Intermediate Public Radio Reporting Class…unfortunately I got distracted by all the wonderful arts events happening on campus and missed my chance to head down to my favourite taco truck in Oakland. Oh how I enjoy taking the 14 and 1 route down to International and 22nd.
Okay, let me back up and explain what tacos have to do with radio class…
After recording tape for my radio story, I would head over to this place with an overzealous stomach and my partner in crime, Carmen Elster; she helped me translate half of my tape, so the least I could do was buy her some tacos! This apartment building is on International Boulevard and this taco truck is one of many on the stretch of road. I would order a small horchata and a carnitas or al pastor (secretly I always wanted cabeza) burrito only to discover I should’ve ordered a large horchata because by the time I got my burrito I had finished my horchata and was chewing on the remaining ice cubes. Sad…maybe? Or a lesson learned—always order the large horchata! Nothing could instantly gratify my fresh catch of tape from the apartment community more than an extra cilantro, extra stuffed, grease-dripping-onto -a-paper-bag-burrito. There I said it. Burritos made me feel better about the interviewing process. This apartment community was so generous about their experiences in this dilapidated apartment building. None of the people living in that building deserved to live in those conditions, but the residents I was privileged enough to speak with were complacent and content (but mostly complacent) about their living situations. I was saddened by the experiences of these residents, and I began to have anxieties about how I would write a script that honours their bittersweet stories.
The next five weeks following my first fishing (fishing for fresh tape) adventure were a little crazy. I felt inclined to keep coming back to that building and fishing for more tape until I became absolutely pregnant with “hot tape”. The pressure was on and my water was about ready to break with fifty pages of logs. Somehow I sifted through all of it by choosing tape that captured the very essence of each story, but it was difficult. It felt like I was saying no to kit kats during bouts of chocolate cravings—there’s only a modicum of logic to it and even then, the logic was buried. The more I said “no” to those kit kats, the more I paired down my script. I couldn’t have delivered this story without my mid-wives: professor and mentor/sound engineer. All I can say is I felt strongly about having this baby from March onward. Logistically, I knew it was a big baby, but somehow it was delivered!
Okay, enough pregnancy references.
*I’ll report on future burrito if/when it happens in the next few days. This time it will be an extra cilantro, CABEZA BURRITO!
Be sure to check out my story and the rest of the class’ stories on KALW’s CrossCurrents on June 3rd and 5th at 5pm!