ImageI am spoiled by Living Right in Centro.  Everything I need is right here and just around the corner or three corners.  I can buy wine, mangoes, balsamic vinegar, Atencion, ice cream, sunscreen, pots, shoes, cell phones and never have to leave Centro.  I have within a short walk all the restaurants and bars and choices I could ever want.  I could even go to Church in that big pink thing in the Jardin.

But there is a dark side to living in Centro – Friends who Don’t.  They want you to come to their place that is Not Right in Centro.  That means leaving all the amenities of Centro to venture into the Outlying Districts of the City with names such as San Antonio, Guadaloupe and even Santa Julia.  These journeys take time, planning and a great deal of psychic work. 

Some of these Friends live in Gringo Free Zones  with nary a restaurant nor Chilango.  Chilango is a Mexican slang demonym for residents of Mexico City.

Some of these place are so far you can’t walk there in 10 minutes.  Some are up steep hills.  A few are flat walks.  This means you have to take a taxi and tell the driver in Spanish where the Friend lives.  Orizaba por favor.  Now that is easy but what about Aqua de Ojo.  Several times I have been taken to a garlic store. 

And what do you do at night when you have to return.  You can’t just walk out into the street and hail a cab.  There aren’t cabs outside of Centro,  You have to call and again speak Spanish. 

And then there is conversation.  Some of these people never come into Centro.  I hear there is a place called Los Frailes where residents pride themselves with never sitting in the Jardin.  I think that is just an excuse for not wanting to call a taxi.  You don’t want to talk about a new restaurant on Sollano because they can’t participate.  Instead you talk about the great taco they buy on some street stand near them or in a field.

When we get there we are subjected to the sounds of animals – dogs, cats, roosters, sheep and birds.  It is deafening.  Sometimes I am comforted by the sounds distant bells from Centro.

Then there is the view.  Sometimes we can see Centro in the distance but often the view is toward hills and things that rural.  Of course you have to marvel at the view but I think they are simply trying to show us that they know where we live but can’t afford to live there.  How terrible to get up each morning and look at Shangra La and know how far you away from all the action.

Sometimes they ask a few people who Live Right in Centro to the party so we don’t feel quite alone and to whom we can quietly speak of the horrors we have experienced arriving there.

I also find that many people think they Live Right in Centro to comfort you but I don’t believe they do.  The City Fathers and Mothers should paint a white line on the roads at the edge of Centro so you know when you are arriving in or leaving Centro.  That would end the discussion. 

I believe the white line is a few blocks away from you. 

Oh you live over the white line. 

I live inside the white line.

Maybe it shoudn’t be white – a tad racist.  Perhaps one of the World Heritage Colors you can find at Lowes. 

Oh we live inside the Burnt Umber Line

It is difficult Living Right in Centro but we persevere knowing that when venture out to where our friend who don’t Live Right in Centro live we are bringing them light and love from the Center of San Miguel.  I know when we leave they feel better and of course can always say

We have friends who Live Right in Centro