27 January 2009

Pena y Dolor

Today I had to go to the city of León, Guanajuato to visit a government office and deal with an official of the bureaucracy. This is generally not a pleasant activity no matter what country you live in. Fortunately my papers were “in order” and after about six months of my file being sent to Mexico City and scrutinized, digested, and mellowed by laying around in a pile on somebody's desk, the matter will be resolved...maybe. Even the Lord Jesus Christ discovered during His relatively short time on Earth that government officials can be a real pain. I am reminded of a popular little ditty that is making the rounds called the “Workman's Prayer”. I will paraphrase it a little bit to keep it wholesome:

¡Oh Señor, Señor, Señor!
Mándame pena y dolor;
Mándame males añejos.
Pero lidiar con tontos
¡No me lo mandes, Señor!

Oh Lord, Lord, Lord!
Send me grief and pain;
Send me ancient plagues.
But to deal with fools
Don't send me, Lord!

However, there is also a Mexican saying that goes:

No hay mal que por bien no venga.
There isn't any bad that doesn't bring some good.

The distasteful place where I had to go happens to be right next door to one of the best panaderías (bakeries) in Mexico called “Pastelería La Poupée”. The word “poupée” means “doll” in French. I think my friend Joe Pastry would have a field day in this place. They make every kind of cookie, cake, and pastry that you can imagine. If you ever go to León and you have a chance to visit La Poupée it will be well worth the effort. There are two locations. One is at Ave. Roma #908 in La Colonia Andrade and the other is at Pasaje Catedral #127 in Zona Central (in front of the Cathedral). They also have a page on the Internet where you can look at the goodies and drool:



Anonymous said...

Oh Bob, I so agree. Every time I go there I stock up on mini vol-au-vents that I keep in the freezer. Ah, instant super-good snacks for visitors. "I just whipped them up" I want to say airily. But then I always find myself giggling and admitting the truth.
I'm due there next month. Vol-au-vent time again.

Unknown said...

Bob, quiero pan, aunque sea de mi pueblo.

Billie Mercer said...

Bob, the bakery sounds really good but I'm trying to stay out of them. Of course, I've never been to Leon at all so this one shouldn't bother me too much.

GlorV1 said...

Hi Bob. Well at least you had a good place to go after the distasteful one. I love pan dulce with atole. I make my own atole the way we used to get it after church when I was once upon a time a little trensas girl. Nice post. Take care.

1st Mate said...

Clever of those Poupee people to place their panaderia right next to a government office. I bet 95% of the people who have to go in and deal with paperwork and bureaucrats reward themselves for their patient suffering with a Poupee treat afterward. Not to speak of all the bureaucrats themselves, and their lackeys. Location, location, location!

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.