ImageWhen you see this picture you know there is a question that will be asked to which you don’t want to answer.

Everyone tells lies from little white lies to whoppers.  However if you are planning to move to San Miguel, you will find that lying here has become an art form.

The classic example is the sergeant becomes a general.  The truth is the military; the lie is the title.  In San Miguel this is referred to as Reinventing Oneself.

Not everyone does it but there are people who come to San Miguel and decide that their old self needs some tweaking.  So people stretch the truth a little in order to be more interesting.  I have heard the term Reinventing Yourself hundreds of times and have been interesting in what it is.  It is like a term Diana Vreeland created-  Faction – a mixture of Fact and Fiction to describe her many Reinventions.  On a darker them I have often wondered if Reinvention were a con game or a scam or simply a bamboozle.  Are the intended victims marks or suckers?  Are the accomplices called shills?

The Motivation for Reinvention and to help you Reinventing Yourself I have decided to create a Manual on how to Reinventing Yourself.

Foundation Work

The first step is creating a Reinvention that will be most believed and wanted in San Miguel?  How much detail do I need for this Reinvention?  Who will need to be in on this Reinvention?

The best Reinvention of Oneself has to be well thought out and researched.  If you are lying about a job then choose an occupation that you know something about and that intrigues people such as medicine, the law, writing books or scripts, the Theater, great wealth, travel, family success, death defying adventures.  Avoid politics as no one cares about politics unless you can say you know a famous politician.  Actually knowing any famous person will work.

Think out the plan.  For example telling people you are really wealthy is easily disproved when you tell where you live?  San Miguel has rich enclaves that are known and if you say you live in one of them you will be found out.  So you need a reason why you don’t live there.  Say that you have decided to get back to your roots and live humbly.  Say your money is in a Foundation and you are investigating what is is like to be middle class or even poor.

If you are going to be a surgeon, or judge, or high power criminal lawyer, make sure that you have your facts straight.  Know the name of where you went to school, your career path, the name of the hospital, law firm or court.  Google it all and have names of other people.  Find a TV show on that area and watch all episodes.  You can even borrow true stories from the show.  Research Research Research.  Know your lie.

If you know someone famous then research them.  Find out some facts about them.  Again Google them.  Create cute stories of how you met them and have several anecdotes based on a time you know where they were.  A friend of mine in San Miguel tells people she went to university with Donald Sutherland and became his girlfriend.  She spins the story well by saying she lost contact with him until she reconnected with him in London through his publicist.  She has lots of details, including being late to meet him in London and sending her daughter to stand in until she arrived.  I have added to the story by saying that I met Donald Sutherland standing in line in the Charles De Gaulle Airport and introduced myself as being her friend.  See how little unproven details can make you more interesting.

The Approach

Once the lie is set you need to find your victim.  As a con man you need to exploits one or all of these human frailties – vanity, compassion, credulity, desperation and naivety.  One thing on your side is that many elderly have these frailties and San Miguel is full of old people.  The Jardin is the easiest place to find naive, old people.  Well maybe just naive people.

The best victim to start with are visitors.  They are going home on Tuesday and will not have the chance to test  if you are telling the truth and they are an excellent way to practice for the real event – actual people who live in San Miguel.  Tourists are easy to find.  They look normal.  They aren’t wearing a cape, or a knitted cap. They won’t have a dog with them.  They won’t be hugging people they just saw yesterday.  They won’t be huddled on the wall or out of the sun.  So find your tourist and start to practice.  To be safe ask “Are you visiting?”  Then start the Build Up.

The Build Up

The Build-up is rousing and sustaining the interest of the victim,  What kind of lie will work the best so that he or she gets so involved in the lies that they lose all judgment and caution and believe it.  Remember you have to appeal to one of these frailties:  vanity, compassion, credulity, desperation and naivety.
Each frailty has its own build up.


wintourTo find vanity look for the Jardin Peacock.  Who has on the most outrageous outfit?  Who is too groomed for a Colonial Mexican Town?  The Build up will involve fashion, New York or Paris.  You need to know the fashion mavens.  If you don’t know who this lady is then move on to the next Frailty.


hearing aidA hearing aid while not an indication of full frailty does indicate frail hearing.

The victim is not going to hear everything you have said and will fill in details that make sense to them.  They can make the lie more believable as they are trying to make sense of what you are saying.

This is also your first opportunity to test the lie by saying it first.  Remember practice makes perfect.


compasssionPlease read my posts on the Doing Good Works Gang to get an idea of what motivates this victim. Remember it is all about Giving Back.  The build up is describing all the charity work and organizations you support.  Google charitable organizations in a place you might have lived.  Pick 23 that look good.  Read about them. Find your place in the organization.  Remember to first ask questions of the victim about their charitable work so that you settle on an organization they know nothing about.  Hook them in by playing on how much you  compassion you have.  If you can cry on command, it will only strengthen your compassion.

Carry some pictures of people you have helped (Googled images)  to show the victim.  Have a story about each one.


Credulity is a state of willingness to believe in one or many people or things in the absence of reasonable proof or knowledge. You might want to start with Conspiracy Theories.  The left leaning tendencies of San Miguel means you can focus on any Conspiracy Theory involving Capitalism, Corporations, The Tea Party or Sarah Palin.

conspiracyThere are other Gold mine sin San Miguel.  Take one simple topic ANGELS.  Many residents will talk about their angel(s) and experiences with angel(s) with a straight face.  The whole spiritual field is ripe for the Build Up. So pick your angel or spiritual experiences and research it.


desperationThere are many people living here in quiet desperation of finding a partner, or finding their art niche or finding funds or finding a new restaurant.  Pick an area where you can become an expert in helping people in their quest.  Again Google the topic and make notes on how to find a partner.  Be careful not to say you have written a book as you can be found out.


naiveBring us Your Naive should be put on Tourist Promotion Brochures for San Miguel.  One of the most overused words in San Miguel is MAGICAL. If you hear the word you should think NAIVE. It is as if the person is yelling VICTIM.  This person will believe anything you tell them as long as you share their view of MAGIC.  Here you must find a story to tell of the Magic you have found in San Miguel.  A lot of stories in this vein deal with Six Degrees of Separation.  Finding a long lost love or relative is a good start.  Remember the greater the odds and the more obscure the connection, the better the story.

Another are is True Friends in San Miguel.  The story line starts with the difficulty you have had in the past but as soon as you moved here you found, at last, True Friends.  Make them important True Friends such as the Ambassador to Peru and Secretary of the Treasury. (Both actually live here).