30 November 2009


During my trip to Dolores Hidalgo on the afternoon of 15 November, a small incident occurred, which I have considered at times since. It has had a delayed effect on me.

We discovered that a mariachi concert was scheduled for the evening after seeing quite an elaborate sound and video system being set up on a large stage in front of the church. We decided to stay into the evening for this performance. While we were killing time awaiting the performance, I purchased a buñuelo.

A buñuelo is a Spanish fritter made of a yeasty dough that is rolled flat and fried. It is then covered with a sweet coating. They come in different shapes in other places in the Latin world, I understand. The one I purchased was delicious. It was a large, disk-shaped buñuelo covered with a syrupy, sugary coating. After finishing it, cleaning my hands so that my fingers did not stick together was a project.

The little old lady who sold it to me from her stand was a sweetheart. She was undoubtedly the one who had made these. When she saw me struggling to clean my hands afterward, she abandoned her stand for a moment and rushed over with a fresh supply of napkins.

Here is the real point of the story. Right after handing over the very few pesos that the snack cost and before leaving the stand, I noticed that she made the sign of the cross after putting my money in the cash box. As we walked away, I asked Adriana--hereinafter referred to as La Mexicana--what the hell that was all about. La Mexicana explained that the little old lady's sale to me was her first sale of the day. She made the sign of the cross after her first sale as part of her prayer that the rest of the day would be a good one for sales generally.

Now why does that touch me so? I do not know. But I do know this. I hope her first sale of the day to me and her prayer at the time brought about a run on buñuelos in Dolores Hidalgo later in the afternoon and evening of 15 November.

Buñuelos Lady

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