Friday, November 6, 2015

San Miguel Routines

This was the spot for Wednesday's dinner

The streets in my little part of SMA are starting to feel familiar and the days gaining a bit of rhythm: writing until mid afternoon, walking about town until dinner, dinner at a restaurant with friends and then a reasonably early night. Today, I will add a movie to the mix as I have a ticket to see "I'll See You in My Dreams", at the library. The movie is a mature audience (read grey hair) chick flick which premiered this year at TIFF.

I guess this routine will do for now. Next week is time enough to go a bit further from home base and to mix it up with some of the other events happening in San Miguel.

Last night we went to the Paprika Restaurant with 2 other couples that Marc and Sue know. One couple had retired here, but still go back to Saskatchewan to visit with their 2 daughters and grandson. The other couple sat on the far side of the table and so I didn't get their full story. Each lived in the same condo building high up in the Balcones section of town. This area is prime real estate, having a spectacular view of the city from the east. This was my first view of the city as I arrived via the airport transport from Querétaro. The Charco Del Ingenious Botanical Gardens are also up there. Marc and Sue have a piece of property in Balcones and will build a house there at some point. We will walk up and see the view and their building lot and the botanical gardens at sometime during the month.

For dinner most had salads, some had pizza but I had chicken mole enchiladas with rice. The house specialty was big salads and next time I think that is what I will have as my dish was just so so. There are different types of mole sauces and they all feature chilis. This Mole sauce was dark, almost black - you really couldn't see that were enchiladas under there. The mole was a overpowering with too much chocolate in the sauce for my taste and there was not enough chicken filling in the enchiladas. Lastly, they could have put some grated lettuce on top or tomato, just to add some interest. But enough of the culinary critique! Next time I order the Paprika Salad.

The draw on Thursday nights is the live music. The Paprika has a pretty good band band from 7-9ish and they have a dance floor. Catering to the mature Gringo dinner crowd, the place was packed and afterwards the tables emptied and everyone danced to some great tunes from our early years - rock and roll from the 70s and other dance music called us all to get up and work off our dinners! The couple sitting at the far side of the table headed out to a Salsa club for more dancing but the rest of us opted to head home for a reasonable bedtime.

In yesterday's blog I mentioned the Instituto and I showed the street facing display which is at the south end of the large complex. Above and below are some other pictures showing the rest of the facade and the inner courtyard where they have the Saturday organics market.

The coat of arms, I presume are that of the De la Canal family. In Spain, coat of arms are prominently displayed on the outsides of buildings - here that doesn't seem to be in evidence. The coat of arms above and below are on either side of the entranceway into the courtyard.

At dinner the conversation was all in a buzz about a shooting on the street just a few doors down from the Instituto. So the story goes, the Policia shot a 25 year old woman who was a senior operator in a drug gang. Apparently there were 3 bullets to the head, execution style, delivered at high noon, so maybe it was a gang to gang territory thing and maybe the Policia didn't shoot the person. Well at least the shooter was careful not to get any bystanders. As we in Toronto know, when gunfire erupts in a busy tourist and shopper filled street that is not always the case.

I was assured by my friends that this sort of thing does not happen often. I suspect there will be some report of the incident in the local English language weekly paper - The Atención.

My casita has a lemon tree in the courtyard and I have been picking the fruit and making lemonade!

Today I have to be at the Biblioteca by noon, and I want to get on with other writing projects, so I will bid you adios! Stay tuned for tomorrow's instalment.



  1. Reading your posts has created a curiosity within me about why some Canadians and U.S. nationals would choose to move to San Miguel permanently. Is it simply the weather and, maybe, a lower cost for living expenses? From my standpoint (me being me), the uniqueness would wear off after a while and I would be looking for the next place to try. A month or two in the winter, sure, but permanently ??

    It is interesting that you are working on writing, too, Peggy, and not simply being a tourist. You have not said much about that, and it also makes me curious about the genre. And, a contrast between this holiday and the walking tours would make an interesting post, I think, once you have more time in on this journey.

    It has been one thing after another tying me down the past four years, in a manner of speaking, including the death of my mother a few years ago. Most recently, my former wife No. 2 has had a reoccurrence of cancer. She had part of a lung removed. We are not back together, but I plan to help her any way I am able. That is life ....

    So, keep writing, Peggy, and I will keep reading.

  2. Hello Fram, nice to read your comments and share my observations. There are upwards of 10,000 Grjngos here in high season, mostly retirees who are spending the worst of, if not all of our cold winter season here, you are absolutely right in your first 2 thoughts about why they come. From the dozen or so that I have met I would say it is:
    1) The weather - it can't get more perfect for all except a month or so and even at that Dec/Jan temps are more often than not in the low 20s in the daytime with sunny days being the norm.
    2) The cost of living is much less than in the US and somewhat less than in Canada - the peso has dropped dramatically against the US dollar (~30% dropping about the same as the CAD $) - for Canadians it is somewhat less, for Americans a lot less, particularly if you want to buy a house or condo.
    3) The abundance of like minded people, clubs and activities to spend your retirement hours as well as volunteer opportunities. I will write more about this in a future blog - but there really is a lot to do here.

    In the final analysis though, I think many people like to put down roots and stay mainly in one place in their retirement years (unlike you and perhaps myself) and SMA seems to have something to offer those folks who are really not into winter activities. I will write more about this in a blog to come.

    Ya, my writing. I am working on some memoir type short stories and I have a couple of other fiction works which I started and put down which I might give another go at. I am going to taper back the time spent on my blog after the "SMA sightseeing blogs" start to wane. I am not sure how time can fly so quickly when I am writing - but it does and I am wanting to find more time for my memoir project,

    Sorry to hear about your ex-wife's health. I understand entirely - I am good friends with my ex and would be there for him if he were to have a critical illness. Cancer is a nasty business - my Dad died of multiple mylenoma. I will pray for her recovery from her surgery.

  3. Hi Pegalita ... Senor Juan here! Both Janet and I are loving your blogs about SMA ... I love Mexico! We are having a house concert at Senora Blahblah's on Friday. A young musician from Edmonton, Jenie Thai Nolan, will be performing and playing keyboards. You will be missed. I have friends who moved permanently to Queretaro ... Charlie and Cyndi Kessler. ��

  4. Hola Senor Juan! You two should come down - I have a spare bedroom! I wish I could have been at Barb & John's house concert - that is 2 I have missed! Hmm, don't think I will be crossing paths with any Queretaroninans, but you never know - will watch for Charlie and Cyndi. I am sure they enjoy their city as much as I am enjoying SMA! We should get a bunch of folks to come down here - it is a great place!