Monday, March 23, 2009

adios, san miguel

Today's chores included a trip to the Mega, a big grocery store that has everything you could ever want in the way of food stuffs. We bought a case of wine, some dry salami, some hot cross buns (in Mexico??!) for breakfast tomorrow before we hit the road. Then it was to El Maple, a Canadian bakery for delicious whole wheat bread that you can't get any place else. We walked up to La Palapa, our favorite quickie lunch joint. Its specialty, as far as we are concerned, is fish tacos (not as good as Dago's, of course). This outdoor spot is nothing but a cyclone fence on a dirt lot with a big Sol tent overhead.

I should explain, perhaps, that Sol is a beer maker in Mexico; the other biggie is Modelo. My favorite beer, Indio, is a Sol product. If a restaurant carries one brand, it doesn't carry the other. This is a country of monopolies; think Telmex (phones) and Pemex (gasoline). So at La Palapa we can get Indio along with our fish tacos.

One of these little beauties, slathered in some mystery green sauce that's a bit piquante and covered with fresh salas, and you have the perfect San Miguel lunch.

After filling up on these we walked over to the Italo-Mexican deli, La Cava to buy some good parmesan cheese to take back to the beach.

I would have opted for some more of their delicious sausages but we passed them up this time. Then a stroll back home ~ it was hot by this time ~ to begin packing up for the trip home. I did manage to finish "Assassination Vacation" and made good progress in "Conflict and Culture in the Middle East." All in all, it was a very successful vacation; visit with friends, good food, good shopping, good walks.

This is a very beautiful city, even though it is loaded with Americans and Canadians who have left el Norte for a different life. Not necessarily better; just different. San Miguel is a place where you are free to be. I have seen people ~ mostly women ~ walking around, perfectly comfortable and unconscious, in the most outlandish get-ups imaginable. Nobody pay attention, except me, of course, an outlander. But I get the feeling that these women, back in Keokuck, Iowa, probably never took a flyer on anything. And here they are, thousands of miles away, having the best time imaginable, in a whole new world.

I need to remember this.


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