Saturday, January 25, 2014

The "Gringo" Bench in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

The gringo bench in San Miguel is really not a bench at all but the concrete and cantera wall that surrounds the jardin on all four sides.  The side that this photo was taken, eons ago, is the first to get sun on a daily basis.  Especially in the winter when sun is muy importante.  People prefer the wall because the cantera warms up from the sun.  The decorative iron benches, not so much.

Rather then seeing a congregation of gringos as a negative, on the cold days, we are just glad to see everyone out of their cold houses and sunning in the jardin.  Conversations start, sometimes friendships are made, and even a lunch bunch or two is formed.  What's wrong with that?  Typically one doesn't see that many ex-pats around town, except when the weather is cold and we all head for that one spot.

I don't remember who took this photo.  I recognize quite a few of these former and current residents along with a few "snow birds",

I was reminded of this photo today because I can assure you that, with the abominable weather up north, the influx of snowbirds is in full force.

Walking into the organic market today to buy fresh quiche from the French woman and asparagus, if I could find any (didn't), I was truly astounded at how crowded it was with no one that I knew.  It was evident from the conversations surrounding me that they were visitors enjoying an experience.  The organic market is that and more.

Next I walked to a Fair of "Made in San Miguel" items.  Wholesalers, supposedly, who were exhibiting their goods.  Since I used to export, I wanted to see what would be there.  No photos were taken but I did see some unique, but extremely pricey for Mexico, items.  Of course the visitors don't know that and were buying items as fast as they could.  Good, our economy is happy to oblige.

So, from now til the end of April, the snowbirds, from wherever, will be hanging out here enjoying the weather, the food and the ability to walk everywhere in a safe and visually beautiful environment.

We welcome everyone.  The only downside is the amount of traffic - many vehicles with Alaska and points north for license plates!

Happily, I can always escape up the hill to my Casa Tranquilo  where the only sound is birds singing and the burro down the hill braying.  Happy days.........

14 comments:

Brenda Maas said...

Nice to have a place to visit and warm up.
This photo reminds me of a photo of a bunch of birds perched on a wire lol.

Babs said...

Ha Brenda, good comment. So true except for the butts hanging over!

Kay Cox said...

Actually Babs, I think I took that photo...if not, I have one just like it of the Gringo bench. I think it was the time when we were there in February and swore we would never go back again that time of year. It was probably Miss Piggy's bedroom that got to us. :)

Babs said...

Kay, I think you're right and you did take the photo. But, I think it was several years later as I didn't know any of those people then and many of those people were close friends along with Angie is there along with myself and someone who didn't come to SMA until three years after I moved there. It might have been that time you came down with Ken or the time you stayed in the guest house..........LOVE the photo though.

Laurie Matherne said...

I love the photo. My father used to have a bad habit of catching people's backsides in photographs. This photo is a priceless reminder of what retirement looks like. You are right about the cold. It's far too cold here in New Orleans now. The city, itself, may get snow this week.

geoffrey nolan said...

Thanks Babs for being gentle and generous in your comments about your paisanos from points North. I've read your blog for some months so I'm not surprised that you manage to avoid the age old pitfall of lapsing into a kind of exclusivity in mindset wherein one's sense of worth is burnished by longevity in the residential pecking order at the expense of new arrivals who are seen as interlopers in an otherwise idyllic Shangrila.

Babs said...

Laurie, SNOW in NOLA! Tell me it isn't true. NOLA is one of the magical places on earth with its beautiful courtyards and magnificent architecture. I always become another person when I'm there. I have had a love affair with your city since I was a little girl. Gosh, I wonder where THOSE photos are!

Babs said...

Geoffrey - Your post is one of the most thoughtfully written pieces ever sent to me. Thank you for noticing.
I so welcome all that come. I still get a high from meeting new people and asking the age old question, "What caused you to come to San Miguel?" I'm often delighted and surprised at the answer.
Add to that the beauty of watching the Mexican culture and I'm continually drawn back to the jardin. It's the crossroads of San Miguel.

Unknown said...

"The crossroads of San Miguel:" sounds like a Tom Russell song.

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Babs said...

"Unknown", indeed it does. Maybe he'll come here to compose! I would be so happy. He said he and his wife were coming back......hopefully so.