There is no looking-glass here and I don’t know what I am like now. I remember watching myself brush my hair and how my eyes looked back at me. The girl I saw was myself and yet not quite myself. Long ago when I was a child and very lonely I tried to kiss her. But the glass was between us hard, cold and misted over with my breath. Now they have taken everything away. What am I doing in this place and who am I?
Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
I can’t remember a home being consistently this cold except when I lived in Maine. We’ve had any number of gray days and overcast nights; that coupled with the huge jacaranda that shades this property and the angle of sun that’s so low that the walls and buildings don’t allow the sun’s rays to penetrate this mass of stone and adobe, keep the casita cool enough that I likely need no refrigerator. I go around indoors with my scarf and sometimes two sweaters with leggings and slacks … I go outside to warm up. However, when I open the windows I seem to experience no rush of warmer air into the casita. I’ve grown to appreciate my lap robes all the more. I have two gas space heaters, one of which I’ve figured out and the other keeps its operations secret from me.
Of course it would happen this way. The day I write about cold the weather warms, turning to 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) and so I sit outside in the warmth of the day, all the windows of the casita open in hopes that the interior might learn from the exterior.
The poster shown in the photo to the right has popped up at all the bus stops around town. Conde Nast Traveller has declared San Miguel its number 1 travel destination, slightly ahead of Charleston, South Carolina and far ahead of Paris, France. I like living in San Miguel, one reason being that most weekends I love watching Escalades and other vehicles visible from the international space station try to make a turn on San Miguel’s streets. The driver, realising that the turn must be made at a right angle, finds himself needing to backup, but each of the impatient drivers behind him have crept up behind the car in front and the whole line cannot move. They sit for awhile, some blow their horns, some finally understand they must inch backwards to allow the lead driver some room to maneuver.
I have no clue how Conde Nast travellers managed to rank us number 1. We have no terrific high-end eateries (although there is certainly good food to be had), we have a small historical museum (but no art museums), the town is not very kid-friendly, and we are in the middle of the Bajio (famous for broccoli and alfalfa). El Centro is charming, pretty, has many art galleries, and some historical stuff. Perhaps it’s that we are who we are, where we are with just a single Starbucks and one lonely McDonalds at the edge of town. That alone might garner my vote. However, I can’t imagine enough tourists pass through to give San Miguel the votes to make it number 1.
A most interesting and surprising talk
Thank you to G in Maine for posting this to my Facebook account.