In thinking back to my first forays to San Miguel in the late 90's, it was a place to come to "be".
What do I mean by that? Well, it was an architecturally beautiful, quaint cobble stoned village
where one could walk in wonderment at so much visual beauty and color.
As far as wifi, it was dial up. As far as phone service, it was not reliable. As far as TV, there was
one service in town with 99% Mexican channels. Restaurants, not as many as now. Last count I
heard there are 324 restaurants here now. Many were in converted parking lots or courtyards.
Now Wifi is fast and reliable. Phone service is reliable as well. TV we have Shaw (Canadian), DirectTV, and several others. As I mentioned above restaurants abound with all kinds of food and service - everything from Lebanese, Thai, Japanese, American, Mexican. The list is unbelievable.
Many chefs have discovered San Miguel so the cuisine can be high end, gourmet or one can eat
at little hole in the wall places. My favorite.
It used to be when I rented out the guest house there was no wifi. Yes there was a phone. No one cared. People who were coming seventeen years ago were here to get away from being connected.
Even if it was only for a week or two. It is not that way now. Now there is panic if for some reason
they cannot get there smart phone to work. I find it disconcerting.
The greatest thing about Mexico, for me anyway, was to come here - take off my watch - forget about the "other world", the USA and just veg. Hours sitting on the bench in the jardin to people watch or a two hour lunch in a little bistro. Whatever.
Now people come and want to know what there is "to do". There is someone coming in a couple of months who wants to be busy every day of the week they will be here. Tours now abound. A trip to the pyramids outside of town; a trip to the butterfly sanctuaries; cooking classes; horseback riding; hot air balloon rides just to name a few things!
Yes, all these things are now available and to some extent were seventeen years ago, but not in an organized "tour" way. People who come don't know that they can just come here and "be".
I want to say, "Slow down. Take time to see and meet the people. Take time to experience the quiet and the beauty. Take time to savor a cappuccino or a meal or whatever you want to savor. Don't rush. It is all here to experience. Welcome to this beautiful place where you can just "be".
When we were there last month for a few days, the first thing I noticed driving into town was the traffic. As we approached El Charco, we saw two new neighborhoods with homes starting at over 3.3 million pesos and plopped right between them is a new strip mall that will house a convenience store.
It's all good, los Miguelenses deserve to live in current times and have the same services as the rest of the world. That said, it's becoming more than what it was when you first moved there and we started visiting SMA 15 years ago.
I still like it. It draws my attention but I'm not sure I want to live there now full time.
Yes, forget about 'the other world' is becoming a major goal these days.
Just the visual aspects of SMA can be delightful but letting go of the craziness from the 'other side' can be accomplished by merely slowing down and sitting in the Jardin.
Another New Age bliss is not driving, and when visiting SMA driving is certainly unnessary. Many residents brag about not owning a car. The city is small enough for walking with abundant taxi, bus or Uber available. Also, no need to look for a parking space (more bliss).
It is what you make of it. If you a Disneyland experience there is that. If you want to just "be" there is that too. For the most part, we relaxed and walked all over the place. San Miguel is amazing, but commerce is taking its toll. The idea of parking lots outside the city centre is great. More streets need to become pedestrian, just to slow things down a bit. Many small towns in Europe have gone that route, with the streets open to buses and commercial delivery vehicles only...
San Miguel is not a resort destination, it is an experience. Take it all in, and don't be so needy...
All of your comments are "right on" as each of you has experienced San Miguel.
You are right Rick, most people do not have cars..........thankfully. I regret that
now that I am so unstable, that I must use a car to get places. It is not fun at all as while walking one can stop, enjoy and then move on.
Boondocking, I don't think that little building would qualify as a strip mall, but, it will be interesting to see what little shops end up in there. There are still many, many places to live in and on the outskirts of SMA where one does not experience traffic, thankfully..
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