Adventures in Textile Arts by kate kline

Friday, October 27, 2006

Shopping the Mercado

Tuesday is market day in San Miguel. We call it Tuesday Market, not to be confused with the Tuesday Morning shops in the U.S.A. Here you can buy all kinds of things from CD's to fresh tortillas. It is somewhat like a huge flea market of new goods and produce and other food.

Suzy bought a new velour sweater that fits both of us and cost only the equivalent of $2.00. I bought some huge avocados (about $1.00 each) and some barrettes for my growing hair. We did not buy the chicken feet nor the tortillas but may on another, more adventurous day.

Shopped out and happy we returned home to our daily siesta!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pigs and Other Animal Neighbors

Because we are living on the edge of San Miguel de Allende, some of the neighboring households raise pigs and chickens. Just below us on the hill is a sow and her 6 piglets, which my dogs have startled on their morning walk. Most endearing, though, is the solo black pig who wanders a large area around here. Lately he/she has been sleeping in the vacant lot across the street. I tried calling to him with a friendly midwestern "sooo-eee" but only frightened him senseless. He bolted and ran with the dogs in hot pursuit. All ended well with the pig escaping.

Then there are the roosters below us that start crowing at 2:30 a.m. It's like living with a cuckoo clock - you get used to it and no longer hear it.

We have plenty of neighborhood dogs, all of whom defend their own territory. No dog fights yet and my dogs have been very well behaved in that respect. Downstairs we have Rooney, a Pyranese Mountain Dog who is just a pup and big as a pony. Very friendly and playful.

I've started walking in the hills with the dogs, now that I have some earphones for my iPod and hope to encounter more wildlife -safely, I hope.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Festival of San Miguel

Last weekend we attended part of the festival honoring the birthday of San Miguel. There were fireworks starting at 4:00 am (yes, that is a.m.!) on Saturday morning - skipped that. We went for the parade at 5 ish in the Jardin, the large plaza in front of the main church, La Parroquia. There were crowds of people, vendors of food and little folk art thingies. The parade was of dancers from the native tribes in the area, including the early natives conquered by the Spanish. Also the parade brought flowers to adorn the church. The flowers were mostly woven into ladders which were brought to the church and leaned on the walls. A large display of flowers was brought to adorn the gate of the church. There were also floats from local organizations. Some brass music but mostly drums for the dancers. Another feature of the day that we witness was the flyers or birdmen who fly in circles upside down from a pole while another man plays a flute atop the pole - very dramatic. More fireworks followed that as did the rain, which we walked through to get to the car. All the taxis were busy and so we walked. We arrived home dripping wet and cold at about 9 p.m. There were more festivities on Sunday, mostly masses and a smaller parade and more fireworks.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

¿ Cual es Mexico Auténtico?

Which is the real Mexico? Shopping for some "essentials" not available in San Miguel de Allende (SMA) we headed out to Queretero, the nearest city. After passing Home Depot, Office Max, Office Depot, Costco and Sams, we came to the local WalMart. Need I say more? Hm...I wonder if Hancocks or JoAnn Fabrics are there also?

Compare this to a typical street scene in SMA, where the streets are narrow and the sidewalks impassable for two at the same time. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention the cobblestones?

I heard that 10,000 American ex-patriots live in SMA. I can believe it! Their influence is low key but ubiquitous. I'll observe more as I go along.

We've been putting sticky notes on things in the casa showing the Spanish word for the object. Such as mesa (table), cama (bed), puerto (door). These are helpful for increasing our vocabulary. On Thursday, Lourdes, our cleaning lady, showed us an error in our notes. On the window we had put "viuda" which is NOT the Spanish word for window (ventana) but the Spanish word for widow. A good laugh for the students and the teacher. With no English she mimed putting a ring on the fourth finger left hand saying "matrimonia" and then put her arms out and head down saying "muerte" (dead), then pointing to the sky saying "cielo". From this we deduced "widow." Just a slip of the finger on the dictionary page.