How Meeting A Couple In Tibet That Live In San Francisco Led Us To San Miguel For Three Months
While traveling in Tibet we were sitting in a cafe in Lhasa. We engaged in conversation with a group of travelers sitting next to us. One couple that reside in San Francisco also have a property in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. They talked about how charming a place it was and how they thought we would really enjoy it there. They said if we ever wanted to rent the guest casita on their property there to let them know.
We kept in contact with the couple over the rest of our travels. When our year of travel was coming to an end and we were going to be returning to Vancouver Island to a wet and dreary winter we decided to contact them. We made arrangements to rent their casita for a total of three months from the beginning of December to the end of February. We would get to come home and visit family and friends for a few days. Then we could escape for the winter to an interesting city. What could be better? After a year of moving around, it would be so nice to just relax and stay in one place for three months.
We are renting a Casita not far from the main town center. It is a very cute Mexican style home. We like where the casita is situated. It is not in a tourist area, but smack dab in the middle of a typical residential area of San Miguel. We have a small kitchen to self cater in and everything else we could need during our stay. There is a large rooftop patio with spectacular views of the city.
Our First Experience With A Scorpion
We were warned to check the bed, our shoes, any folded clothing, towels, linens, etc, for scorpions and black widow spiders. As well there are rattlesnakes here. It doesn’t bother us too much, we have been traveling for many months with all kinds of poisonous snakes, spiders and other creatures. We had been in San Miguel for a week without seeing anything other than a few large dark coloured crickets that keep coming into the casita. That’s okay, we will take those over the other bugs. They do freak us out a bit, they tend to hide in things. They are dark coloured so when we first catch a glance of one we think we have spotted a scorpion. They are also very noisy.
We will now make an amendment to the previous paragraph. Santa Claus, (at least this is who we are blaming) brought us our first scorpion on Christmas Eve. We were getting ready for bed when I moved a suitcase in the bedroom. There he was under it. It immediately started to move around. I screamed for Jack and jumped up on the bed. He was not too thrilled to have to deal with it. He came in like a hero with his shoe and in an instance it was all over. It was quite strange looking, about 3 inches long and a light tan colour. We thought they were all black. Hopefully no more will be surprising us.
We had a false alarm while I was sitting on the couch one evening. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a small black thing crawling near my shoulder. I could see something red on it. I immediately thought I had a black widow on me. In a panic I ripped off all my clothes within seconds. Jack kept crying out to me asking what was wrong, but I could not respond. Getting my clothes off was my only concern. There I stood stripped down to undergarments. I told him I thought I had a black widow on me. He looked through all of my clothes and then continued to look around for it on the couch. He found what was a small black beetle with a bright red head on it. Okay, so forgive me, it wasn’t a black widow, but better safe than sorry!
Very Welcoming And Friendly People Everywhere We Go
The people are very friendly and seem to welcome any foreigners with open arms to their city. We get smiles and hellos in Spanish everywhere we go. We need to take a course soon to learn at least some basic Spanish. We want to be able to communicate with everyone. Many people come to San Miguel to learn Spanish. There are many courses offered. We are not doing too bad, we have picked up a few phrases and words already. We can now say, hello, goodbye, see you later, good morning, good afternoon and good night, please and thank you, how much does this cost, (that always comes in handy) please take us to… (for the cabs) We have also learned many common food words for ordering in a restaurant or buying something at the market.
Our Street Is Full Of Non-Stop Entertainment
The Garbage Truck
Now lets go over the different vehicles and people that come by the house, what they do, and the noises they make. The funniest one has to be the garbage man. After 5 weeks there still does not appear to be any sort of schedule for garbage pick up. We never know what day they are going to come on or what time. It can be as early as 7:30am or as late as 2pm in the afternoon.
Not a big deal, you think. Well you can’t just stick your garbage out in a can like at home. Here is how it works. The truck first comes up our street and goes to the end. You know when they are coming because the guy standing in the back of the truck with the garbage loudly clangs together two pieces of metal. When you hear this, you grab all of the garbage in the house. You then go out and stand on the street with everyone else. You wait for the truck to turn around and come back down the street.
This is usually Jacks job, especially if one of us has to jump up out of bed at 7:30am to take care of it. He is quite enjoying the whole thing now. He goes out in his pajama bottoms and t-shirt. It is quite the social event. Everyone says buenos dias to each other and chit chats. The truck is a one ton pick up with a huge box on the back. One guy drives and one or two other guys stay in the back with all the garbage. You have to reach up and hand him the bags as the truck goes past.
The Gas Truck, The Milk Truck, Food Vendors And Salespeople
Then there is the gas man, the milk man, the food vendors and the sales people. The gas man has a loud tune that plays and the milk man honks his horn as he goes by. Each vehicle does something unique so you can distinguish between them. The milk delivery is hilarious. I think it is every 2nd day that the milkman arrives. He does a specific honking pattern to let you know he is on the street. There is a guy in the back of a truck with large metal containers of milk. People come out of their houses with anything and everything imaginable to collect milk in. It ranges from plastic buckets and bowls to pots, you name it. The guy uses a big cup to scoop milk and fills up the people’s containers. He asks how many cups they would like and they pay accordingly.
Every day as dusk approaches we have a man that wanders the streets in our area. He has a cart with some kind of food in a plastic bag. It gets chili powder sprinkled on it, but we can’t figure out what it is. He has this great call he does as he pushes his cart along. It sounds like a long two toned yodel. We love hearing it.
We get people knocking and ringing the door buzzer all the time, it seems to come in spurts. Sometimes a few a day, many days in a row, and then nothing for a while. They have anything from fruit, vegetables, woven rugs, knife sharpeners, to pottery for sale. There was even a mobile garage sale, a pickup truck full of anything you could think of.
Befriending The Local Construction Workers
We have developed a friendly relationship with all the construction workers at a building site right across our street. Each day at about 1pm the mens’ families come to meet them for lunch. The women and children bring food for their men. Our front steps just happen to make a great place for them to all sit and eat. No one speaks any English, and we only speak a bit of Spanish, but we seem to communicate just fine. At first if we were coming our going out of the house, they would all get up and think we would want them to get off our steps. Now we chit chat the best we can with them in Spanish, we will miss them all when we leave.
A Strange Salesman At The Door
The people coming to our door trying to sell us stuff has toned down somewhat. I guess they have clued in we are not buying anything. We did have one more strange guy. He rang the buzzer and Jack answered. He immediately started rambling on in Spanish. Jack said sorry no hablo Espanol. The guy just kept going on though. There was another guy with him sitting in a car outside our casita. The car had a bunch of stuff crammed into the back seat, some of it television sets. Jack again said sorry we don’t speak Spanish. The guy then started to make a motion as if he was playing a guitar and in a loud excited voice in English said “rock and roll.” He repeated this several times. We have no idea what he was trying to get across, but he was entertaining to say the least. He finally decided he was not going to be able to communicate with us and left.