Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day of the Dead Continues

View from my front door into the private courtyard.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. I started to carve out my day - the morning for writing, afternoon and evening for sightseeing and social stuff and odd chores. I am using the Spanish definition of afternoon - it starts about 1:30 or so... Before that I will write. Good plan and followed to the letter on my first full day here. I am full of enthusiasm for my new digs and my month of writing and exploring.


There was not a bit of anything to eat in the casita, as I had not found the energy or time to pick up even the makings for coffee yesterday, so the first order of business was going out to breakfast. The recommended spot - Café Monet about 10 minutes amble down the main drag a few blocks from my place. It was bustling, it being still Day of the Dead - oddly, this day is 2 days long. The café was homey with a living room like space at the front with two big comfy couches on either side of a large coffee table which had been commandeered by several couples as all the tables were occupied. About a dozen or so tables were filled with mostly grey haired Gringos with a few Mexicanos wandering in now and again to have a quick coffee at the bar. It looked like mainly seniors here in "SAM", the short for San Miguel de Allende used by the locals. I guess I will fit in just fine.


Rather than hog a whole table to myself, I hoisted myself up on a bar stool and sipped my coffee at the counter at close range to all the action. Quite the coordinated effort. The barista (or is it baristo as in the Spanish masculine form?) brought forth lattes and café Americans non stop. Oddly, I asked for a café con letche and the Mexican barista replied "a latte" - I guess the clientele here are more Anglo than Latin. Anyway, the place lived up to the recommendation. Behind the coffee station was the kitchen, almost hidden from my view by the huge espresso machine. It occupied the centre of one side of the café,protruding into the dining room tucked behind a serving counterlike a stage in a theatre. All staff were working non stop moving quickly for table to coffee station, to serving counter with great efficiency. I had a latte and an excellent simple cheese omelette and paid only 75 pesos with tip ($6). I think this café is considered one of the better ones for value. It just may become my go to breakfast stop.


I headed home with my travel mug filled with coffee, ready to spend a few hours writing and enjoying my quiet casita on my sunny little terraza. Before long, I had posted my first blog and felt pleased that all was progressing as it should.
The equivalent of the BBQ chickens I often buy at my local grocers at home.


Looking good and at $6 a couple of bucks cheaper than at home.
At 2 pm my helpful friends arrived to take me on another walking tour (this time focused on shopping) and to go to the bank machine, cell phone provider and the "MEGA", a huge grocery and department store. We walked up the main drag for several kilometres as various restaurants and shops were singled out for mention - too many for me to remember but for sure in time I will get to know. Seems like I will not want for places to spend my money.
People streaming into the cemetery for day 2 of the Day of the Dead celebration
As we walked up the street (or maybe down - I still haven't got the north/south orientation ingrained into my internal GPS), we passed the entrance to the large cemetery. Day of the Dead is a serious business here. The obligation to visit one's dead relatives is felt by a large segment of the population if the crowds were any indication. I have been reading more about it in the local English language newspaper called "Atención". Seems Nov 1st is to honour dead children and Nov 2nd is to honour deceased adults. I guess there were too many graves to visit in one day so they had to expand the holiday to 2 days. It is an interesting holiday and cultural study. Go here to wiki for more info.
After a bit more walking, I got a new sim for my iPhone with voice, sms and data and for a mere $35 which is less than I would pay inToronto. I had a lot to buy at the grocer's given that there was nada in stock at the casa but I was pleasantly surprised when the bill came to just over 1,000 pesos (~$80). A quick cab home for a mere 40 pesos and my chores were done!
Pan de Muerto - a speciality available on Day of the Dead

To conclude my day, I joined my friends for dinner at a small restaurant off a quiet side street near their home. The food was excellent and the steak perfectly cooked. The topic of conversation was things to do in SAM. That will for sure be something to cover in my next and also subsequent blogs - I am now seeing the clock and it is nearly 1:00 and time to go for a walk. I headed home full and happy having spent only around $18 and that included 2 glasses of wine! There are so many great restaurants and with prices not too expensive it will be hard to spend nights at home cooking. Typically, when at home n Toronto I seldom eat out, much preferring to cook my own food. I am not sure if it is the thrifty part of my soul or really that I prefer my own cooking, but my budget does not have a lot of dollars earmarked for eating out. Then again - I am on holiday - or am I? LOL- The old conundrum when you don't work every day is a holiday.

With that day 2 of my Mexican trip comes to a close. I have had no trouble sleeping. The mattress is comfortable, temperature perfect and the neighbourhood perfectly quiet. All is well in San Miguel.


  1. Happy to read about your adventures. Photos are a treat as well. Hugs!

  2. I am anxious to learn how dedicated you will be toward writing, Peggy. I have found I am too engrossed in absorbing new surroundings when I travel to write anything beyond an address on a post card.

  3. Yes, I wonder also when I know at home I am more often than not diverted to activities going on around me. There is a lot going on in SAM and it might be tough to keep to my plan, especially when I have friends here who are introducing me to other friends and inviting me to social events. I am hoping to be able to muster enough discipline to write each if not most mornings - but we shall see.

  4. Your patio is inviting; good place to write on pleasant days.

  5. Linda, yes, the patio is a great place to write, but I am going to have to learn to say no to some of these social events if I am to get in much writing,