WE ESCAPED the Mardi Gras celebration in our hardscrabble neighborhood over the weekend by heading to the Gringo-invested burg of San Miguel de Allende.
I always find San Miguel unsettling to the soul. There is something just not right about it. It’s about as Mexican as I am, which is to say legally yes, spiritually no.
Perhaps Disneyland, but better: Mulatto* Ville.
It’s a combination of two very different worlds. Two mindsets, two races,** two cultures. And they do not stir well.
Oil and water.
Walking around downtown San Miguel, it’s all I can do to not burst out in howling laughter. The rayon shirts, the Bermuda shorts, the Birkenstocks, the berets, the feathers in the hat bands, the old white women*** wearing native blouses, the art paint smeared preciously on khaki pants.
So one might wonder, why do you go there? The main answer is restaurants. Mulatto Ville has great places to eat.
I enjoy eating.
And this recent trip was also to visit an old friend from high school who was wintering there, a retired university professor who included Marco Rubio among her students.
We took a drive north to Dolores Hidalgo where we had not gone directly downtown in a long time. We were pleasantly surprised, shocked even.
It’s a wonderful city that’s been undergoing renovation for a few years. Most of the plaza has been closed to vehicles. The church has been painted. Much of downtown too.
Some good restaurants and hotels can be found. And, unlike San Miguel, which has horrible streets and sidewalks, Dolores Hidalgo is flat, smooth and easily walkable.
It’s also one of Mexico’s main sources of talavara ceramics,**** the quantities of which are astounding and beautiful.
Next time we flee our area due to Carnival, we’ll be staying in Dolores Hidalgo, not south in Mulatto Ville.
In Dolores Hidalgo I spotted nary a Birkenstock*****.
* * * *
* I am playing loose with the word, of course. A true mulatto is the offspring of one white parent and one black one, à la Barry Hussein Obama who “identifies” as black.
** Oh, I know Mexican is not a race, but bear with me.
*** Why does everyone complain about Old White Men but never about Old White Women?
**** The other is Puebla. FYI.
***** My second ex-wife, now an Old White Woman, used to cringe at my own Birkenstocks, so perhaps I should avoid this point. Nowadays I sport Crocs but only at home.