Saturday, January 05, 2008

three little words

You might think it is Yo te amo, and in most cases you would be right. But for me, on this trip, they are “Mexico Zapotlanejo autopista”. They mean that we hit the right turn-off and are happily on the way to San Miguel. The first time we came here we arrived via a different route, through Guanajuato. The second time we missed the Mexico turn off and spent about an hour trying to get back on the periferico in Guadalajara so we could find the off-ramp again. This time, no problema. We got away about 7:30 AM and arrived here about 3:30. Seven hours of driving, with two or three short stops and very little traffic. The only hairy part was finding the aforementioned three little words.

Contrary to published reports, here and elsewhere, it is NOT 34º except, perhaps early in the morning and at night. The sky is a brilliant blue, it is sunny and warm, and the air is thin and fresh up here on the alta plana. The town is full and bustling with enterprise. We unpacked and got settled in the apartment and then took to the streets. Tomorrow is Dia de Tres Reyes so there are lots of pilgrims in the city to attend services at the cathedral. That beautiful old church is decorated to the hilt; I’ll take photos. We walked around town checking out favorite sights and sites; the internet café is gone but another has sprung up almost next door; the fish taco restaurant is still here, unchanged but under new ownership; my most favorite little tienda is still selling fabulous little coin purses made out of brilliantly patterned oil cloth; the Miami Herald has ceased to print a Mexico edition so I am stuck with The News, printed in Mexico City and short on news (I understand there’s a war on and there was some sort of vote in Iowa); there is a new supermarket just opened about ½ mile from the apartment, but you can still get almost anything you want at one of the three or four abarrotes within walking distance of our nest. Plus ça change, plus ça reste. (If anyone knows how to say this in Spanish, let me know.)

This morning we went off on what we had determined was a recon mission to Delores Hidalgo, about 25 miles from here. What it ended up being was a huge shopping spree. First we went to the place we had originally purchased a couple of sample tiles about five years ago and discovered they no longer sell tiles, just Talavera stuff, and I do mean STUFF. While parked in their lot we went across the street to a warehouse-type tile outlet just to see what they might have. To our surprise we found a very interesting tile to use on the floor as a border for a tile “rug”. We really can’t use fabric rugs; they get filthy with the salt and dust and I would be constantly tripping over them. The idea is to outline an area on the floor in front of the sofa to resemble an area rug. We could order it but it would take 10 days and we’ll be back at the beach by then. But I was told I could go to any of this particular company’s shops and put in an order. Number one chore when we return.

We then moved on down the road. We found almost everything we wanted at this little shop, Azulejos Coloniales Ricos.

We had been to this place on our last trip to buy some cream color (Mexican white)barro (clay) tiles for our bathrooms in the US. There it all was, everything we wanted and then some! We ordered and will pick it all up next Wednesday. As you can see by the pots in the front, they have Talavera there, too, but my preference is for the very old style of this particular pottery painting; much more subdued and graceful. No big sunflowers, no Diego Rivera alcatraces. Arte San Gabriel, on the way back to San Miguel, has much more traditional designs. We stopped there and found some solid color tiles in a beautiful deep terra cotta, much richer than others we have seen. So we bought a box of those to use in the kitchen as accent pieces. I also found some other goodies I will show later. Actually, they are in the car and the car is currently in the custody of the Patient who is off shopping at the new supermercado and checking out the Canadian bakery we found last time.

We came home completely satisfied by our morning’s endeavors, even though we had not planned to do it this way. Knowing how the Patient feels about shopping, I am just as glad that we got it all over with in one day! Off to the fish taco joint for lunch, another successful venture. Just as flavorful as we remember. Five tacos, two orders of delicious cole slaw, two Indio beers: $10. Big spenders. On the way home we popped into the Pollo al Carbon shop down the street and got half a broiled chicken for dinner. More high living. And mighty tasty, too.


At 6:17 PM, Blogger mary ann said...

What wonderful fun you are having ~ I so envy you!


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