Early maps of the world put dragons to indicate unexplored parts of the world. They were warnings that no one knew what lay beyond the known edges of the world. There are dragons all around San Miguel. There places up the hill such as Atascadero that can only be reached by donkey or a Mercedes. There are places in the campo such as Los Frailes that are rumored to be US refugee centres. There are places called Gated Communities and it is not clear if the gates are to keep people out or keep people in.
The average visitor to San Miguel never goes near the places marked with Dragons but spends their day in the Jardín, sitting and looking and waiting.
This picture show the front of the Jardín where you can sit and not look at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. It is here that the Gangs come and go.
What Happens in the Jardin
Life begins in San Miguel on Friday. This the is day Atención comes out and lays out the activities for the week. Atención is published by the Atención Gang. It tells Gang members What to do and Where to Go. A typical day involves walking the dog, then a cafe, then a good sit on a bench. Then some talk about real estate or how terrible it is that Starbucks opened.
For the rest of the day until evening members of each Gang does their own thing such as setting up tables to spread the word, or suggesting other places in Mexico to live, capturing a Love Slave, buying books, shopping, making Mexican Friends, being busy, buying art, taking art classes or what ever mission the Gang Mamas have set for the day.
The evenings are devoted to ART – a play, a muscial performance, a reading, a musical comedy, a lecture. Here is an excerpt from May 9 Atención describing the merriment that is going to happen after that first cocktail.
Lamine Thiam dazzles at Café concert
By Kennedy Poyser May 9, 2008 San Miguel de Allende
African Music Night
Wed, May 14, 7pm
Café Santa Ana
100 pesos, incl. first cocktail
Mon–Fri, May 12–16, 8–9:30pm
044 (415) 119-3402
Concert-goers at the San Miguel event are warned that Thiam is still just as persuasive. Probably everyone in the Café will be dancing within the first 30 minutes, and never mind if they’ve never given the least thought to West African rhythm. It’s irresistible.
Imagine all the fun you would have. Life in San Miguel is one art adverture after another until you go to bed fully arted out.