Yes, readers, I have now been in San Miquel de Allende in the Colonial Highlands of Mexico for six weeks now. Securely installed in mi muy pocito casita in the Los Balcones colonia my snowbird life is easy/breezy and I have a muy difficil time remembering how…or even why haha…I fit in full time employment. Well, I guess it was just the necessary prerequisite to enjoying the good life in retirement. Now my definition of the good life may not match some/any of my other retired colleagues who are sailing on luxury cruiseships or are on the golf course almost daily or going to the same time share each winter in Puerta Vallarta but it suits me just fine.
I´m so very glad that it worked out that I did come to SMA. My original plan was to teach TESL in a Canadian expat owned escuela in Queretero but when that plan went sideways I moved my destination slightly down the highway to SMA. Named as THE best city in the world by Conde Naste Traveller magazine it certainly scores sky high points for beauty and spectacular sunsets that can be viewed from any number of rooftop private terraces or restaurantes in Centro. When you walk by a restaurante over a doorway leading up, up a rather steep staircase, do not hesitate to ascend and check out both the menu and the breathtaking view.
Centro is awash with wonerful restaurantes but one called appropriately, Provecho is one of those rooftop restaurantes well worth a visit. The food is muy rico, mid range priced and enhanced by the al fresco dining experience under the sky or stars viewing the hilly terrain of the city.
It´s always amazing to me just how many shops or tienditas or what have you have NO sign displayed at all. Now I understand the ban on neon in El Historico Centro but asking for someone´s address or recommended restaurant or store is a very complicated verbal dance, next to, past, right beside, across the street from etc. It was very much lke this in Ajijic and the joke there was that no one had a last name OR an address. As long as you could explain where you lived in relation to the careterra or WalMart or the plaza you were in business and people could find you. If you were down an obscure calle privada not near any recognizable or memorable landmark all bets off.
Yesterday, the main street was all dug up and we are talking cemented in cobblestones here and getting out of the colonia was certainly a challenge. I was forced to oh so slowily descend the car prohibited street that yes, has metal handrails for part of it. Seriously! Near the bottom I hung a right and went down yet another branch of the medieval city ´rabbit warren and eventually got back to Homobono Calle but it was questionable at certain pioints as to whether there was any way out! At various points here they have these people width starcases carved out between the stone villas and haciendas. A while back I took the trolley car around town at sunset and it was fascinating to see the sunset through these narrow visual portals!
This weekend marked the tipping point in my third winter in Mexico and first in San Miquel de Allende. And to mark the occasion, I was honored to have been chosen to usher for all the keynote speakers for the San Miquel de Allende Literary Festival. It was quite a line up and I must admit I did feel a twinge of homesickness when I saw the Canadian flag up on the screen before Yann Martel of Life of Pi fame spoke. And I was really looking forward to hearing Laura Equival, writer of Like Water for Chocolate. Unfornately, I carried her book to the conference two days in a row but naturally not the day they had the author book signing! You know what they say…a day late and a peso short…