AS I’VE BRAGGED at least a million times, I initially moved south with just two suitcases, nothing more. It was liberating and, of course, in total contrast with how most Gringos move to Mexico pulling their sagging trailers behind their mega-pickups.
I delight in making fun of those people.
I came down sans auto.
I did, however, leave a number of things in the storeroom of my mother’s Atlanta condo, and when the two of us drove from here to there around 2004 in the little Chevy Pop I had purchased, I returned with more gear. One of them is pictured above.
This stained-glass lamp was bought on South Shepherd Drive in Houston in the late 1990s. I don’t recall the precise price, but it was scandalously expensive. No matter. It was love at first sight.
It sits in our living room, serving as a night light. It’s the first thing I see each morning as I stumble from the bedroom into the living room in the dark to slip my feet into the Crocs that sit on the carpet below this light.
I then go pour coffee, head upstairs, fire up the Hewlitt-Packard and read the news. It’s a good way to start the day.
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.
HERE I SIT on a rocker. It’s around 10 a.m., and I’ve already watered the veranda potted plants and the hanging ones too. I’ve cleaned the glass-top table on the Jesus Patio, and I’ve changed the yucky birdbath water.
At 11 we’ll be having second breakfast — either oatmeal or cereal — and then I’ll don old pants, take off my socks, slip my tootsies into ancient Crocs and circle the yard perimeter with my new Stihl weedeater.
When that’s done, I’ll shower and dress myself up. Later, I’ll make lunch, which will be fish burgers, wild rice, sauteed veggies and lentil soup from a can. I’m no elitist.
After lunch, we usually watch a show on Netflix before heading downtown. My child bride to her sister to gossip and me to a sidewalk table with café and my Kindle. I’m currently reading a bio of Ronald Reagan by H.W. Brands.
Tonight will find us in our soft chairs watching two more shows on Netflix while supping on big salads that I create myself. We don’t have real jobs, of course.
This routine is so grueling that we felt we deserved a vacation, so next week we’ll be heading to Colima and Comala for a few days. I’ve never been there. I want to see the volcano.
Now, on to politics: The California Democrat primary takes place Tuesday, and Bernie might beat Hillary, which would be an hilarity. And then the Brexit vote comes on the 23rd, and I’m rooting for a British departure.