The perfume of cooking fajitas and the sound of mariachi music filled the air in the centre of a bustling Mexican restaurant. Old Jewish buddies Sid and Abe were having a talk at a corner table. It was a bright afternoon, and the restaurant’s colourful furnishings provided a lively setting for their conversation.

Sid leaned over the table and wore a puzzled look. Do you know if any of our ancestors were ever born and nurtured in Mexico, Abe?” he inquired.

After giving the query some thought and looking intently into Sid’s eyes, Abe said, “I don’t know, Sid, but why don’t we ask our waiter? They may have some knowledge.

A cheerful waiter with a strong accent soon made his way to their table to take their orders. When the chance presented itself, Abe asked, “Excuse me, sir, but we were wondering, are there any Mexican Jews?”

The waiter took a brief break while frowning in thinking. Finally, he said, “Senor, I don’t know. For you, I shall ask the cooks.

He vanished into the busy kitchen, where the sound of pots and pans clanging filled the room. Sid and Abe looked at each other with anticipation as they awaited the waiter’s arrival.

The waiter returned to their table after what seemed like a lifetime and exited from the kitchen. No, senor, the cook claims there are no Mexican Jews, he shook his head and moaned.

Yet, Abe wasn’t prepared to quit up. He leaned forward and spoke with a tone of scepticism. Are you positive? he questioned.

The waiter realised he was dealing with persistent clients when he heard Abe’s voice sound determined. I check again, senor,” he said with a hint of frustration before making a second trip inside the kitchen.

Sid leaned in during the waiter’s absence and quietly confessed, “Abe, I find it difficult to accept that there are no Jews in Mexico. We have folks all over the place.”

Abe concurred, also perplexed by the revelation. They awaited the waiter’s return with great anticipation, hoping for a different reaction this time.

The waiter eventually returned, his eyes showing a trace of resignation. I asked everyone in the kitchen, and they all responded the same thing, “Senor,” he moaned. There are no Jews in Mexico.

Abe was unable to conceal his dissatisfaction. He enquired one final time, a hint of humour in his voice, “Are you certain?”

The waiter couldn’t help but smile now that he was fully cognizant of the jocular nature of the conversation. He made the choice to partake in the fun. He responded, “I guarantee, senor, we checked carefully. Only Apple Jews, Grape Jews, Prune Jews, Tomato Jews, and Orange Jews are present; there are no Mexican Jews.

Sid and Abe let go of their search for Mexican Jews with boisterous laughing. They may not have found any historical information that day, but they did stumble onto a remarkable instance of laughter and camaraderie in the middle of a Mexican restaurant, where the lines between cultures and cuisines were blurred in the cause of friendship.