Very Good Friday

YESTERDAY AFTERNOON, about 4-ish, I was walking solo down a narrow Colonial street strung above with banners colored purple and white. Are those Good Friday colors, or Jesus colors? I am not versed in the traditions of the Catholic Lord.

My destination was a coffee shop on the main plaza, which is jammed with an Easter market selling all manner of stuff — clothes, the works of artisans, tacos, burritos and sombreros. It’s similar to what transpires here on the Day of the Dead.

I planned to sit there with an espresso and watch the throng of tourists, admiring some, chuckling at others, rolling my eyeballs at times.

But I was still walking on that narrow street and I passed a pastry shop. About 10 paces farther on, I thought: Get something to go with the espresso, so I backtracked, entered, picked up a tray and a set of pincers, which is how you go shopping in pastry shops here, and looked about. The shelves held the typical fare, which normally is good to mediocre.

donutMy eyes stopped on doughnuts. There were chocolate-covered ones and sugar doughnuts too. My first inclination was the chocolate-covered, but I detoured to the sugared. Nearly every doughnut I have eaten in Mexico has disappointed me.* Dry and tasteless for the most part. If you can’t pour cheese over something, they seem to lose interest.

I put one sugar-coated onto the tray, walked to the counter and paid. Three pesos, which ain’t much.

Later, sitting at a sidewalk table with my espresso, I ate the sugar doughnut. To my shock and glee (because I know where the pastry shop is), it was one of the best of my life. It’s good I did not buy a dozen. I must remain sleek.

The doughnut, the throng of passing tourists, some of whom were quite lovely, the blue sky and and cool air made it a very Good Friday.

But especially that doughnut.

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* Note to Don Cuevas: Yes, I know the shop across from La Bodega has great doughnuts. But I have not been there.