At the Coyoacán Traditional Market in Mexico City, on a nondescript Friday in May, a young boy walked past Señora Tere's fruit stall with his hand in a bag of chips. She stopped him. With a long knife in one hand and a mango in the other, she carved off the fruit's cheeks and thrust them towards him.
"Eat this," she said. "It's better for you."
The boy, not breaking his stride, accepted the gift and walked on.
This is why I loved Mexico.
With the help of a translator, our small group stopped to chat with Señora Tere. She immediately started pulling fruits down off their perches, one by one, peeling them with her knife. A slice of this, a sliver of that. You haven't had guava? Take the guava. What about cactus fruit? You need to try it. Here's some mamey. Taste the litchis. Papayas, pineapples, plums, peaches.
A piñata in the shape of a spider floated above her head.
"Señora Tere," we asked, "what is your full name? So we can tell people about you..."
"It is Señora Tere of the fruit stand where there is a spider," she replied.
And in some ways, that captured it all.
It said, well, everything.
What's my name, then?