San Miguel de Allende: The Church & The Zocalo

Before I get into San Miguel let me just say that the comments on the previous two entries have to be some of my favorites so far. You guys are making the trip so much funner! Maybe not as fun as the guy who dry humped my leg, the other guy who asked how I liked the “sex” in mexico or the unlimited amusement opportunities presented by the melanin-free (some of yall will get that on the way home) 20-somethings re-creating any version of the “Girls gone Wild” video series. But close, yall are definitely close.

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)      
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!      
Dishes Prepared: 3 (Tortilla Soup, Arroz Verde and Tortitas de Pollo). Fresh Ingredients.     
Mexican Cooking Tip #1: Pork Lard (and I thought it was the peppers! The Scandal: garlic!)     
Number of funny, wealthy, married (to each other) classmates: 2
Number of after-lunch margaritas in the Zocalo: 3 (1 each you gutterheads)     
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 Ingenio Jardin and Preserve. and Fish!     
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). 

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.

7 thoughts on “San Miguel de Allende: The Church & The Zocalo”

  1. I had my “Friday” read and loved the pic of the Church and the entire entry.
    I love to see a pretty Church and I definitely like green spaces.
    I think I would like to see a little park in every neighborhood (A space for
    family, pets, friends and just hanging out to relax in the sun – sort of like my front yard only prettier) I looks like you spent your money wisely (for the most part) and had lots of fun to boot.
    Interesting conversation with “the man behind the curtain” – I hope you surprised him by getting all up in his business too.

  2. The best flirting/conversing with men is done when one is at least 10 feet away behind a reinforced wall or door. The worst is when they are already attached to your leg mid-hump. Sounds like you are having fun – I am a big believer in drinking before trying something new which requires dexterity (like juggling) since while I probably won’t do well, at least that way I’ll have an excuse: “I’d have played pool better if I wasn’t drinking.” – “Well, when can I play you went you aren’t drinking?” – “Uhhhh, November?”

  3. Momma D: These churches are so HUGE and AMAZING I can’t even get close enough to get a good shot because I can’t get the whole thing in one picture. I agree about communities actually communing in the parks. It was so cool because everywhere i’ve gone we usually don’t have phones so its like “see you in the zocalo around 8?” I did have a good chat with him, i ascertained that he just wanted someone to jibber-jabber with after traveling alone for a while.

    Elizabeth: A friend of mine says: “is Octember 35th good for you?” which still cracks me up. at least you’re drinking and playing pool and not shooting darts or skeet or something rather more dangerous.

  4. Awesome picture of the church. I am in Mexico in May of next year and am taking notes… so what was his business – can’t leave us hangin. (?) I’m nosey. Was he cute? He’s not the one who humped your leg right? (was HE cute).

    Waiting on the edge of my seat…

  5. I’m so touched, you’re a fan of Philly sports teams! Love the pics and hope you keep on having fun. You make mexico look more attractive than a tourist guide ever could.

  6. Spot on with that one Dia! The Family, The Church, and the Zocalo Culture. Aaaack! You make me want to move there. And on that note, I was THRILLED to read on Boots that you’re having great success with Skype. I’ve been entertaining the idea of spending good chunks of time down there but still having to have access to work (all I need is bullet-proof reliable internet, telephony and electricity since I work in a similar way that you do). Sounds very doable! Yay!

  7. EII: He was cute in a “i’m going to talk you to death” kind of way. He was in construction and seasonal work, but I got the feeling he was pretty well educated and probably middle class. He was returning to SMA to work on an idea with a friend but couldn’t find the friend that morning so I was the substitute. I complain, but this kind of stuff is why I love to travel.

    Carmelia: I’m a philly fan by default. My bro and ex-husband are both fans of the teams and my ex went to HS with Bubbachuck so…plus I lurve Donovan McNabb. Better than a tour guide? wow. that is a big compliment right there since i’m staying at $15 hostels and eating Tacos from places with one name and on wheels! But I want everyone to visit Mexico so that makes me feel superb!

    Travis: Yes, Skype is a lifesaver. Out of 100 calls I’ve had maybe 4 really crappy connections. About 85% of my client contacts are on skype so skype to skype is also FREE! Do it! Ven Aqui!

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