The Family and The Church are easily summed up as the top two priorities in Mexican culture. This is a sideshot of the Zocalo (town center) and the beautiful church in the background is made from this pink stone that catches the sunlight and is the perfect compliment to the greenery of the well-watered Zocalo. So much so that I realized that these people really built these temples FOR God, and even if you aren’t religious, that is kind of impressive. The churches in Mexico are quite simply: Divine.
The Zolcalo is the other place of gathering and fellowship central to daily life in most cities. No matter how small the town, there is usually still a respectable Zocalo in it. Now let me tell you, people in mexico sit out in the Zocalo All.Day.Long. not necessarily the same people, but I have NEVER, even at 2, 4, or 6 in the morning seen a Zocalo that didn’t have people in it. Also, unlike U.S. municipal parks there’s no homeless people sleeping on benches (because it is waaaayyyy too damn noisy to sleep with the teenagers, old folks jibber jabbing and Mariachia Bands). I have always kind of had this thing for the homeless and it made me wonder where Mexico’s homeless people are. Are they better cared for or even more invisible?
Anyway, among the many customs I’d like to bring back to the US from Mexico, hanging in the parks with friends and family is one of them (with the one cheek kiss greeting being a close second). So why don’t yall get on that while I’m here? Since you’ve got a nice long weekend to figure out what to do with. Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone (before I forget).
San Miguel de Allende (SMA) by the Numbers:
Shots of whiskey taken before a juggling lesson from Justin (20, US): 1
Mexican transvestite boutique owners I told “you work too much”: 1
How ridiculously all up in these people’s business I am: infinitely
First Class bus ride to San Miguel de Allende: $7.70US/1.5 hrs
Pieces of Sushi consumed in Mexican Internet Cafe: 6
Hostel bedroom windows I had to climb into because my key wouldn’t work: 1 (yes I was sober. hostel $15US/night)Â Â Â Â Â Â
Cooking Classes in SMA: 1 ($50US/4hrs + lunch w/ Sra. Maria). I found this class 2 yrs ago researching my “dream trip” and I can’t believe I actually did it!Â Â Â Â Â Â
Dishes Prepared: 3 (Tortilla Soup, Arroz Verde and Tortitas de Pollo). Fresh Ingredients.Â Â Â Â Â
Mexican Cooking Tip #1: Pork Lard (and I thought it was the peppers! The Scandal: garlic!)Â Â Â Â Â
Number of funny, wealthy, married (to each other) classmates: 2
Number of after-lunch margaritas in the Zocalo: 3 (1 each you gutterheads)Â Â Â Â Â
Number of scarily-huge, livestock petted: 1
Number of police in historic uniforms: 2
How fast I stopped snickering when I saw the guns under the uniforms: .014278/second
Number of Cacti photographed: 23,235 at El Charco IngenioÂ Jardin and Preserve.Â and Fish!Â Â Â Â Â
Number of sun-reddened/santa clause-esque cheeks: 2 + 1 nose. (note to self: don’t visit gardens at the zenith of the day without sunscreen).Â
Cab from SMA Zocalo to El Charco: $3.50US, Entry fee: $3.50US, Finding that your taxi driver really did show up on time 2 hours later: priceless
Number of votes to leave Guanajuato and head to Oaxaca by questionable internet “supporters”: 8
a “this is the stuff that happens only to me” story: on the morning of my cooking class i was packing, getting dressed etc. in my room. the window (as previously mentioned) faces out onto a courtyard where people can pass through freely so there are curtains, however due to the heat i had the window open. there is also a little cafe style settee (sp?) outside my window (which enabled me to climb into the room the night before). anyway, on this morning, a young Mexican dude is sitting at the table (i didn’t know this). I guess he hears me rummaging, whistling and singing to myself and dude starts talking to me! We can’t see each other but he’s only 20 feet away at the most. i’m half dressed, half-asleep and its 8am in the morning. I answer the first question and next thing I know its like a damn Larry King interview in my pajamas! I mean he even asked me my favorite pro (american) football and basketball teams (The Eagles/The Sixers) and was like: “you’re crazy, the 49’ers are the greatest team ever”. I mean you’re gonna ask me 2,028 questions and then try to dis me? anyone who knows me knows what I did next. i finished getting dressed then went out and got all up in HIS business.