So Very Nice to Meet You

I had a lovely experience today. I met Eva Hunter for a late morning coffee at the little cafe in the Instituto Allende, here in San Miguel. I had only met Eva via FaceBook. I think what happened was she commented on  a post from a mutual friend and I found her interesting. Since we had several mutual friends  (In many ways San Miguel is a very small town), I decided to send her a friend request. Somewhere in the world of FaceBook I learned that she is a writer, and, in fact, had a book that I could buy on Kindle, “Little Mormon Girl.” I read the book and found it very well-writen and honest. I started to look forward to seeing her posts, not only because she is such a good writer, but also because she usually said something that resonated with my own thoughts.

Eva has always been a professional writer. She works with other people to help them write books…a book coach. Also magazine articles; she has a way with words. But, she is always working on her own writing…a new book is in the works and I look forward to reading it.

I reached a point that when she “liked” one of my posts I found it quite flattering, as she herself is such an excellent writer. I begin to see many posts from her about an upcoming trip to Greece. I decided that I really needed to meet her before she left. We had already reached the point of a few FaceBook messages, so it was pretty easy to set up a time.

You never know when you meet someone that you like from a distance what will happen if you have a visit. I am happy to say that this visit was splendid. Her conversation is much like her writing, and we covered lots of subjects. Everything from politics in the US (on the same page), to finding ourselves “women of a certain age” in San Miguel, both of whom have slightly younger husbands. We talked about the importance of knowing you are loved.

I love Eva’s style. I always admire a woman who wears red lipstick. I believe that we will have more visits, and more conversations. She is definitely my kind of woman.

This is a post she put up on FaceBook this morning, talking about the weather here yesterday…

“Last night the winds came in, sudden and without warning; whipped boughs of trees in my garden, slammed windows on my yellow balcony doors: flashes of vertical lightening, then monstrous pelts of rain. The cobblestoned street two floors below ran with water like a river.
This is the rainy season in San Miguel de Allende, and the end–we hope–of high-eighty-degree heat. Spring and summer are times of late afternoon rain; the rain that in the fall brings fields of rose-colored cosmos and scratchy-stem sunflowers. Sudden hard rains, scary to get caught in, catching us unaware. This is the time for the umbrella in the satchel; for not making plans to go out around five or six p.m.
This morning the sky is razor blue over the white Moroccan-style house with turret punctuation across the way.”   See what I mean?

Walking around in Mexico

Yesterday afternoon, which was a Saturday, Fred and Pinky and I went out to run a few errands. Going out on the weekend in San Miguel de Allende is like going to a carnival. The town is packed with tourists, mostly Mexican, and the general feeling is one of holiday. The weekend brings a lot of young people into town, and I always enjoy seeing them. I like to see how they are “styling.”

So, as we walked across the Jardin, we were just enjoying the people watching. Then, an unfortunate thing crossed my awareness. There is a little sidewalk cafe, quite popular with the tourists, right on the square. It was filled with Mexican families on a weekend get away, young Mexican couples, and a few locals. At one end there were a couple of tables pushed together with about 6 American 30-somethings. They were being loud, really loud. And the things they were saying (in jest) were quite inappropriate to be shouting, anywhere. It seemed as though they thought they were on the beach in Cancun. San Miguel is not a beach town. It is one of the most sophisticated and genteel cities in Mexico. Even if the people at the table around them didn’t speak English, their very behavior brought the phrase, “Ugly American” to my mind. It is beyond me that people come to Mexico and have no regard for the culture.

Well, that was just a passing moment yesterday, and I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought one way or the other at the time. Later on in the day I went out for an errand about two blocks from our house.  Even though we live in Historic Centro, which is where the tourists tend to be, we are right on the northwestern edge of it. Our immediate neighborhood still has that kind of wonderful funkiness that I love about Mexico. If you walk up to the corner and take a left you are heading to San Juan de Dios Market. You are now totally away from Gringolandia, and in the Mexico of your dreams. Every day you will see something on the street that will amaze you.

As I said, yesterday I went on an errand. As I walked down the sidewalk, I saw a middle-aged Mexican man approaching me on a bicycle. He pulled up to the curb (I’m still about a half a block away) and pulled a hard-boiled egg out of his shirt pocket. He cracked the egg on the handlebars of his bike, and started to peel it. There was no one around but this man and me. It was sort of an intimate moment in a strange sort of way. He looked up and seemed a little unsettled that I was about to walk by and he was eating the egg. I looked at him and said, “Huevo.” He laughed and said, “Huevo.”

A bit later on my walk I saw that a Mexican woman was approaching me on the sidewalk. Some of the sidewalks here are extremely narrow and someone has to give. The appropriate thing is for the person who is walking facing traffic to step off the sidewalk. I have noticed that some Gringos are not hip to this custom. I stepped down from the sidewalk and said, “Buenas Tardes.” She gave me the biggest smile.

Theses are just some things that happened yesterday while I was walking around in San Miguel. Very sorry I didn’t get a picture of the guy with the egg.

The 30 Day Challenge. Why I Love to Live in Mexico. Reason #4. You Meet the Coolest People

The 30 Day Project. Why I Love to Live in Mexico. Reason #4. You Meet the Coolest People

Every now and then I see someone who really catches me, and I feel compelled to photograph them. Sometimes I try to just do it discreetly, but most of the time I ask permission. This young girl just got my attention in a folk art gallery yesterday. Possibly because she reminded me a bit of myself at that age. What I loved was the scarf. How many little girls would choose to wear a scarf? A future accessory diva, that’s who! Her parents did not object (sometimes parents can get a little uptight when you start taking pictures of their young ‘uns) and she, being the runway star of the future, was way into it. Her mom told me she had chosen to wear the scarf because she thought “it made her look Mexican.” She has as much chance of “looking Mexican” as I do but I completely get where she’s coming from.