Sunday, April 9th, 2017
I’M IN A SAN MIGUEL STATE OF MIND
I’m in the turning point of my San Miguel time, meaning almost everything feels comfortable now. I speak Spanish easily and lose my English words. Four hours at the bank to adjust
accounts and pay bills, still mostly done with paper and lots of Supervisor signatures, seemed like a nice time to ‘platicar’–chat.
After banking I went to a great cafe for ‘to die for’ coffee and struck up an hour long conversation with a Mexican woman who runs a candy store in San Miguel and we complained about everything (men, kids, diet, men, kids, diet and Trump, to tell the truth) We laughed and declared ourselves friends and exchanged phone numbers. Only later did I realize we did it all in Spanish.
I wandered toward the bus stop and got on a very crowded bus. I did have a 73rd birthday this past week and I cannot tell you how odd it felt to have kids give me their seat. I have arrived. Old enough to not stand. Yea??
Then home to a Lenten Service at the tiny ancient church down the alley ( the alley of the bane of my existence–zero charm and lots of basura) The church (think chapel) built in 1560 holds at best one hundred people. Many gather outside where the omnipresent speaker blares out the mass.
The church was covered in purple and white flowers and lots of chamomile and fennel for fragrance. A young handsome priest with a wonderful voice ran the Mass. His first Easter.
The music was one of those combinations of Indian and Catholic combos. It was the most mournful,discordant, wailing kind of sound that represents sorrow and Christ’s climb to his crucifixion. Not so well done this year. Lots of squeaks and sour notes that had kids giggling and mom’s threatening pokes to stop.
Onto a corner diner ran my a neighbor who put her kids through school by running a restaurant every Friday, Saturday and Sunday–Raquel. Natural retailer and cook. I’ve never seen another gringo there but we are regulars. After enchiladas verdes, we walked with neighbors and some kids to honor Dia de Dolor. This day represents the sorrow of Mary who knew what was coming for her son. Every house and church decorates with the purple and white flowers and herbs. Long ago every house served salt water to sip that represented Mary’s tears. Hey, no more. Popsicles work just as well. So it has a Halloween feel with groups walk around sucking on Popsicles. This is exactly what I love about Mexico.
I am embedded here in Mexico. And I will fly to Maine for Easter. It will be good and odd.
Living in a different culture is very different from visiting. I switch homes, not houses.
Am I complaining? No. I am digesting the richness of my life.