Wednesday, April 8, 2009
On Mexico time...
Beth and I are in the middle of a wonderful vacation. We flew into the heartland of Central Mexico this past Sunday without any problems at all. This is very unusual for us, for some issue generally always occurs during our journey.
The place we went to first is called San Miguel de Allendie. It sits at about 6400- 6800 feet above sea level depending upon what part of the city you in.
We have spent a great deal of time walking the streets and seeing all the wonderful sights there are. San Miguel is very "Mexican" feeling to say the least. It has a huge ex-pat community and they are very visible dressed more for shopping on Rodeo Drive than Shopping at the Mercardo.
However the town has remained very traditional in many ways. All the streets are made of stone. No cast side walks, no asphalt, just hand laid stone with tons of "topes". Topes are the Mexican version of speed bumps. You hit a topes going too fast and you will leave your drive train behind. Many of the buildings look as it they have stood since the 16th century.
The streets are a very colorful place. I never know what we might encounter. It is Santa Semana(Holy Week) and the religious offerings are everywhere. The one thing I have not experienced is being offered drugs. On every trip to Mexico(this is our tenth as a couple) I am hounded. "Hey whiskers... pst, come here... I have what you want..." "Hey whiskers.... you want my Mota?Best Mota in all Mexico" I am so glad to not be hassled on this trip. This has actually been the most hassle free vacation in a long time.
Everywhere one looks, it is an excellent picture. However, an Indian Market or Tuesday Market is the place to see some real sights and to get some huge bargains. The Rodeo Drive people are all over this market trying to exploit that peso as much as they can. They haggle over everything. Not in the expected way, but as to be sure they save every peso they can. Hey why pay $.30 for that mango when you can pay $.10. It does not matter that the peasant farmer had to haul water in a bucket to keep the tree alive or that he had to carry that mango on a donkey to get to the market. Ugly, ugly Americans, I have apologized three times now on this trip for the way my people treat others. It is a shame, for this market is where the poor folks go to sustain themselves.
Everything can be purchased here. From pots and pans to...
to the sweetest strawberries I have ever tasted. What it must have taken to create this display.
Sometimes it is unimaginable to the variety of stuff and the choices. Beth is captivated by the temporary tattoo selection.
I am captivated by the variety of food you can get. These are papusas. They are like a fat tortilla stuffed with chorizo and cheese. Can you say "muy delisiosa?" How about "muy sabarosa?"
Shoes? You need shoes? New, old, slightly used.... they are here.
How about a Luciador mask. Just put one of these babies on and some tights and you are transformed into a semi pro wrestler.
Tools? yeah, we got them too. New, used, and antique.
Lots of tools... no like in lots. Metric or empirical?
But most of all San Miguel has churches. Not churches in strip malls or with metal siding on some lot in suburbia... They have Cathedrals. I am not an overly religious guy, but over the past few days I have lit a bunch of devotional candles at every church I entered. Many prayers have been said. I am not sure why, but I feel like they have been heard.
Today we say good bye to San Miguel and move on to Guanajuato. We have our bus tickets purchased and we leave at mid day. In 1952 Wally Byam and some caravaners went to Guanajuato. I hope to see some of the things they did also.