Tag Archives: Semana Santa

Easter tamales

DURING EASTER week, people arrive in our mountaintop town from distant points, places you’d call the boonies.

Many camp in this plaza, which is named San Francisco, for much of the week, and they make tons of tamales. If you walk through here at night, it’s interesting with the fires and smoke.

My child bride and I walked along here today, and I shot this video. It’s not the best video in the world, I admit.

The Easter Bunny doesn’t hop up the mountaintop with colored eggs, but if you want tamales, we got ’em

The guitarist

EASTER WEEK, or Semana Santa, brings tons of tourists to our mountaintop town. Tourists bring money.

And street musicians hope to score some.

I was sitting yesterday at a sidewalk table with my electronic book and a cup of hot café Americano negro when this old boy appeared and struck up a tune or two.

He got 10 pesos from me, and other tables also contributed.

If I’d had my best camera, the photo would be sharper, but I did not have my best camera. Maybe next time.

Getting stoned

IF YOU’VE ever wondered what a cobblestone street in the making looks like, wonder no more. Behold!

For a few months now, major work has been under way on two streets radiating out from the southwest corner of our spectacular main plaza. It was supposed to be completed by Easter Week, but that’s not going to happen.

A major component of the labor is installing wider sidewalks. The sidewalk to the right side was about half as wide and, of course, that meant the street was wider.

Now the street will be narrower, a trade-off.

That sidewalk surface is just a concrete base now. Flat stone will be installed atop it. It will be quite snazzy.

The street itself won’t be smooth. Cobblestone streets never are, but newly installed ones are smoother than older ones.

Time takes its toll. After about a decade, driving on a cobblestone street goes something like this.

I’m not a fan of cobblestone streets. I prefer smooth concrete or, barring that, asphalt. But our town trades on tourism, and tourists like to see cobblestone streets.

They go nicely with our tile roofs of red clay.

The fact is that our mountaintop town improves yearly. And the same goes for our property values.

Faces of Easter

jesus
A very unhappy Jesus passes in a street of San Miguel.

WE SPENT two nights in San Miguel de Allende that, by pure chance, sat in Semana Santa, Easter Week.

We drove there to visit an old friend who had flown down from Texas with a couple who had invited him to share a few days in a vacation rental in the Gringo-infested town.

The old friend and I had planned this get-together months ago, neither realizing it was Semana Santa. It just dawned on me about two weeks ago.

Semana Santa, to Mexicans, is Spring Break with Jesus Christ. We have a multitude of religious ceremonies and Easter parades here on the mountaintop and tons of tourists, but I figured it would be calmer in San Miguel.

I could not have been more mistaken.

It was almost like Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Downtown was mobbed with people. Lines waited outside restaurants.

Streets were blocked.

We arrived Thursday for two nights and one full day — Good Friday — in a downtown hotel, and we left yesterday.

We had a great visit with the friend, and we came away with these two faces — photos — of Semana Santa.

A third photo shows another face, a sad one, a man who passed on the street in the best way he could. Every few feet he would stop, squat upright on the street, and jiggle his coin can.

What struck me most about him, apart from his disability, was that his hair was trimmed and slicked back very neatly.

Everyone has pride.

family
Everybody smile for the cameras, theirs and mine too.

News of Springtime

Shot

IT RAINED YESTERDAY, which it should not have. April showers isn’t an expression that normally applies to our Mexican mountaintop. April drought is more like it. The forecast says it’ll do it again today, but the sky is blue so far.

I used to dread Springtime rain because it — unless brief — would rouse the lawn, and that would require mowing that big baby. But since I quit mowing a couple of years ago, it doesn’t matter if it rains. Our yardman, the dour Abel, just makes a bit of money.

Easter Week ended. That’s a big deal here, the resurrection of Jesus, so I mostly avoid it. Mobs of tourists arrive downtown. There’s a big artisan market on the plaza, and some of my Mexican relatives come visit. Fortunately, they stay downtown with my child bride’s sister or we let a chosen few stay in our downtown casita. The boozers, chain smokers, cheats, children and irresponsible can sleep elsewhere.

This year we gave the casita keys to a favored niece, about age 30 and married a year; her husband, a very nice fellow; and the niece’s papa, a good guy, and stepmother, whom I do not know. Four people, we thought. Of course, Mexicans often arrive with hordes of human baggage, and the papa and stepmother showed up, without warning, with their other two adult children.

None proved to be boozers, chain smokers, cheats or irresponsible, so it was okay. The casita has only a queen bed and a double bed, so God knows where they all slept. There was a small, fold-out mattress in a closet, leaving just one bedless. Probably snoozed on the sofa.

They were there only two nights, and they left yesterday afternoon. Later we passed by the casita and found it spic and span, which is how we like to find it after guests depart. There were neither cigarette butts nor dead bodies.

Next week we’ll be enjoying the Pacific beach at Zihuatenejo. Most Mexicans will be back at work or in school, so we should have the place pretty much to ourselves, which is how I like it. It’s a slightly late anniversary jaunt. We hit the 12-year point just two days ago.

This morning, under blue skies and enveloped in cool air and optimism, we walked our usual exercise laps around the neighborhood plaza. On returning, we sat a spell in the downstairs terraza with orange juice and grapefruit. That’s when I snapped the photo above.