Saturday, January 17, 2015

Twenty Four Hours in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

This is often the title of articles written by free-lance writers who have been attracted to San Miguel by public relations firms who are representing hotels, restaurants and resorts in town.

It is almost predictable which hotels and restaurants and shops will be featured in each and every article.

Now for those that do not see each article, it is interesting.  But for us here who do see each and every article because someone sends the newspaper clipping or magazine page, it is redundant.

It is apparent that the people are on a mission.  Often it seems that they ARE only here for twenty-four hours. By their comments it is somewhat apparent.

Let me share with you a typical twenty-four hours in San Miguel de Allende.

It starts in the morning with a horn honking next door.  That is the pickup truck that goes through the colonias selling unpasturized milk to families by the ladle full. The women come out of their house with a small container for the day's supply and then scurry back into their homes.

Next is the door bell with the water man who sells the very large bottles of water for use inside the home for drinking.  Mine lasts me about a week.  Always, a backup bottle is stored under the counter, just in case.

He leaves.  Next is the laundry lady coming to pick up the clothes and assorted items to launder.  Returning the next morning with all clean and folded for a minimal cost.

That's about it for doorbell ringers or horns honking until around 12:30 when the kids get out of school.

Carts of refreshments along with the ice cream truck are set up right outside of my house to supply the kids and parents with homemade ice cream.  The ice cream truck plays music that has the sound, with a horn, of the kind Clarabelle the Clown used to honk.  I'm always glad when the hour is over and the ice cream truck goes somewhere else to drive someone else crazy.

This past Monday a couple of other things happened to make that twenty-four hours somewhat unique.

Upon returning home that afternoon, I discovered that I had lost my cellphone.  Now the cellphone cost me nothing so it wasn't a big deal money wise, but I wanted it back, if possible, because I have had it for a long time.

It occurred to me that the last time I had used it was the previous Friday night to call for a taxi to pick me up at a specific address where I had enjoyed the enchanted evening of music and poetry.

I called the dispatcher of ServiTaxi, gave him the address and approximate time.  He said of course, he has a log and would call the driver, for me to hold on.  In a couple of minutes he came back on the line, said the man had the phone and would return it to me within three hours!  I was amazed even though this company has in the past had drivers return prescription eyeglasses and an expensive camera.

Lo and behold, at about 7PM there was a knock on the gate.  Opening it, there he was, the driver from that Friday night.  Of course I thanked him multiple times and he could tell from my expression how happy I was at the return.  When I attempted to give him a nice tip, he refused.  Aaaah.  He was the same driver who waited for me that Friday night, to make sure that I got inside the gate before he left.  What a thoughtful and polite man.

This has always been my history with this company.  I was referred to them by a local who has lived here since the 50's.  The drivers are always courteous, professional and caring.

Add to that event, earlier in the day the fuse in the breaker box flipped.  I wasn't turning anything on or off.  It was an unusual occurrence and surprising.  But, I flipped it back on and everything came on.........except one thing.  The computer did come back on but, for some reason, the internet did not.  I tried everything. Checked all the connections, turned the computer on and off.  Well, to be truthful, I really don't know much to do without venturing into territories that I know nothing about.  So I didn't.

Hence the need to call the computer man, Rodrigo.  He had not been here in many, many months but we set up for him to come the next day about 4PM.  He arrived at 3:30PM, fixed the modem and some other things as well.

What was so delightful about this interaction was that he remember all kinds of information about my grandchildren and my family that we had shared probably six months ago.  Then he showed me a photograph of his sixteen year old daughter and we talked about her and her education.  Afterwards, I smiled at the fact that always and forever, Mexico is all about relationships.  It is heartwarming for me.

That's a typical twenty-four hours in Mexico.  It is not about shopping, eating in expensive restaurants or drinking on rooftop terraces at sunset, although there is nothing wrong with that.

But when people ask me what I do in Mexico, I say, the same thing that you do in the USA.  But, in fact, in many ways, it is totally different...........more personal............more meaningful.........and certainly unique! 


Tancho said...

and certainly less expensive, which to me is more rewarding!

Babs said...

For sure. What has happened is that people think there are no inexpensive hotels or B&Bs or inexpensive restaurants here any more.............nothing could be farther from the truth!

Of course the expensive restaurants are less expensive then the ones in the USA!

Barbara Lane said...

Oh please share the name of the taxi company! I'd love to support their business. Thanks in advance if you choose to do so. And I loved this should be lived taking time to connect, and so many don't (at least in my experience) in the U.S. I love this about Mexico as well.

marilyn said...

"But, in fact, in many ways, it is totally different...........more personal............more meaningful.........and certainly unique!"

I totally agree with your summation, especially 'personal'. when i'm asked what i like about México, i answer "the people".....they're first on my long list.

(i would love to live there but, "less expensive" would be way, way down on my list of positives)

i've been enjoying your blog for many years.

Babs said...

Barbara, the card that I posted is their business card, ServiTaxi and their phone # 152-5993 is on the card. Great group.....

Babs said...

Lena, thanks for commenting. I agree, the people are indeed the main reason along with the surrealism that I chose Mexico.....

Unknown said...

This place sounds more and more like I place I would like to retire one day. Enjoy your days, Barbara.

Debi in Merida said...

We too get our more than ample share of travel writers who seem to have an unending budget. They visit, eat, and do absolutely the most expensive things in town. Rarely do they flag a taxi, they have drivers. Rarely do the queue for a meal, they have just met the owners or chef and have a front row table. Rarely do they have to go buy water for their hotel they ring the concierge.
It really is an unrealistic view of our city, which I happen to love, but not for those reasons. I too love the color, the noise.
Unfortunately many people decide to move based on these types of articles, and then reality sets in.
Oh my, don't get me started!

Babs said...

Laurie, come visit some time! I think you would enjoy it as well.

Babs said...

Those unending budgets are the PR/Marketing firms that are paid by the hotels, restaurants and resorts to bring in the writers to plug their properties.

It IS unrealistic, sadly.

As you know, that is not what we both love about Mexico or our respective towns.

Barbara Lane said...

Thank you for the taxi info - for some reason I'm not getting a photo with this post.

Anonymous said...

Certainly people in Mexico are much more eager to just "shoot the breeze" with whoever is around. I can't tell you how much more interesting this made my trip, having lots of interesting little conversations wherever I went.

Marvelous place, Mexico.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where people go out of their way to NOT talk to strangers.

Babs said...

Indeed Kim, it is those little conversations that fill the tapestry of life and memories......

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Well, I'll take a day like that anytime...

George Puckett said...

I really appreciate your blog. I post it on 2 of my Facebook Pages, We Promote Mexico and Mexico My Space.
I produce a Podcast and I would love to have you as an interview guest at Please visit and contact me if you're interested.