Smug Gang – Good Tourist/Bad Tourist

This an old post but the truth is still current especially I found after 3 weeks in Morocco

Gangs of San Miguel de Allende

Good Tourist/Bad Tourist

To be a Good Tourist you need to follow these simple rules.

A Good Tourist

Language Rules

  • expects that no one will speak English
  • learns a few expressions such as Thank You and Good Morning in the language of the country they are visiting
  • always carries a phrase book
  • says No hablo Español and not Do you speak English?
  • apologizes for not speaking the language and is very grateful when someone does speak English
  • sees every encounter with a local as an opportunity to practice Spanish

Food Rules

  • eats whatever is put in front of them without complaint
  • is willing to try almost all items on a menu
  • never expects English menus
  • uses the phrase book to translate the menu
  • never wipes the table in a restaurant with a serviette before they eat
  • know when it is appropriate to eat ice and when it isn’t
  • is willing…

View original post 665 more words

Miracles in San Miguel


The Miracle of Mary and the Rosca de Reyes


Chica Rosca de Reyes

Mary Keller was a frugal, single woman. She had grown up without much money and had learned that if she could find a bargain then the world would be safe . These lessons were never lost and one of the reasons Mary had moved to San Miguel was to find the bargains she had read about in Falling in Love with San Miguel. Mary, of course, had joined the Cheap Gang.

She had noticed in early January these cakes being sold in Mega. She didn’t go to Mega very often because it was so expensive.  Yet the cakes seemed to beckon her for some strange reason.  But they were so so beyond the means of someone on social security.

The cakes came in different sizes.  Every day Mary would go to Mega and look at them, hoping that perhaps, there would a sample of this delicious cake or a very small cake for a single, frugal woman.   The sign said Rosca de Reyes but she didn’t understand a word of spanish but she loved the alliteration and wondered who Rosca was and where Reyes was located.  She began to obsess about the Rosca de Reyes.  She would dream each night about taking one home and unwrapping it and eating it all in one sitting.  The red and green on the Rosca de Reyes was so festive.  She searched the Civil List to find out maybe if there might be Rosca de Reyes Discount outlet.  What she found discouraged her.

Here’s the menu for Tuesday dinner at El Manantial tonight, Tuesday,
January 6th:

Queso fundido with rajas, served with fresh corn tortillas

Pollo con mole, served with rice and guacamole

Rosca de Reyes

1 free drink

$130 pesos per person

Bueno provecho!!

She couldn’t afford $130 pesos.

But on January 6th the gods intervened.  Walking home from a free concert she saw a truck selling Rosca de Reyes from the back of the truck and  saw a sign saying Chica 25 pesos.  She knew Chica meant for a frugal single woman so she bought one and rushed home.

She unwrapped her treasure and began to eat until the miracle happened.  She felt something in her mouth that was hard.  She spit it into her hand and looked down to find a small plastic baby.  She started to tremble.  She had just given birth to a plastic baby.  She had never had children and here was her own special plastic baby.  She washed it and wrapped it in a kleenex and went back to eating the cake.  Several minutes later she gave birth to another baby.  It was Twins.  So she propped up her babies against the now almost empty wine bottle and started to cry.


Rosca and Reyes – Birth Pictures

This was another magical moment in San Miguel.  You will find Proud Mary in the Jardin.  If asked, she will show you her plastic babies she keeps in her pocket and relate the miracle of how a Barren Woman gave birth to twins on January 6th 2009.  One is called Rosca and the other Reyes.

The Daily Telephone Gang

ImageEvery day at the place I am staying,  the telephone rings and more than once.  It is rarely for me.

So I ask “Who’s calling?”.  Sometimes it is different people but often it is the same people.

I ask why do they call so often?  I am greeted by this strange look and begin to realize that calling people daily is normal not abnormal.

It hits me that I now I understand the looks and responses I get, when people ask how often I speak to my sons on the phone, and I say “Maybe once a month.”

This Gang is new to me – The Daily Telephone Gang.   It appears that each day new information or activities happen that need to be reported to a certain group.  So I began to investigate this Gang.
One day I answered the phone and the person, thinking I was a member of this gang, said

Just checking in

My god I thought, what do I say.  I looked around for a pad with a list of names where I could check her off.  I couldn’t find it.  Now what?  Why were they checking in?  Have I missed the Check In Program.  Is this some AA Program.
The next day it got worse.  Another person, thinking I was a member of the Gang, asked

What’s New?

Then I began to think that there was some series of things I did each day that I was required to report on.  I made of list of what I do on a regular basis

  • Bathing and Grooming
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Making and Buying Food
  • Eating Out
  • Checking on line banking statements
  • Checking my portfolio
  • Bowel Movements (this was important to my grandmother)
  • Parties and Luncheons
  • Gossip
  • Sex is on another list

Surely people weren’t interested in my shaving routine but how I slept seemed to be something I had heard people talk about.  This list required some thought and prioritizing to know what to report first. There were also somethings I shouldn’t talk about (anything interesting I realized).  This was a whole new world of picayune details that I used to think was unimportant but obviously this Gang thought was really important.  Maybe it wasn’t just my life I had to report on but other people’s lives and News in San Miguel.  Yes the list had to contain all three elements – News of my life (the insignificant the better), News of Other People’s Lives (the juicier the better) and News Of San Miguel.

For of those new to this Gang, here is my List of News in San Miguel to report on but remember I am new to this Gang


cirrusThat is an easy one.  I remember my father owned a hardware store.  When people entered the story the greeting was always weather related. If it was raining they would say “It’s a dirty day”.   I needed some weather talk.  Did I talk about Clouds?  I remember learning about clouds in primary school.  So should I say “Looks likes Cirrus clouds”  Then what?  Do I talk about the color and shape but then I thought that is what makes then Cirrus Clouds.  I am lost.  Okay next topic.


I heard people at a party talk about how busy the Jardin was the other day.  This was easy.  I Live Right in Centro so every day I peek around the corner to see how many people are in the Jardin and then I remembered the San Miguel Webcam.  Everyone morning and throughout the day as the calls come regularly I look at the Webcam.


robberOh I know this is a good one.  I hear lots of people talk about the latest break in or mugging.  I don’t think there are any more mugging or break ins than at home but seems to be important here.  So I decided to make up a mugging or two and a break in that involved coming through a skylight and getting trapped and added some details about the alarm system.  Good I now had something to talk about.


pescauThis I know is a big conversation topic.  “Where have you eaten?”  “What did you eat?”  “Did you like it?”  I have been to Pescau and had a marlin taco.  That will be my Restaurant Chatter for the Day.  I just realized that I have to get a new one each day.  This Gang is eating up my time.


This is an easy one and all you have to do is choose an area

  • Death
  • Husband has left his wife (rarely the other way but it would be better gossip)
  • Affairs
  • Moving Away from San Miguel
  • Terrible things X said about Y
  • Decorating

I have to stop the phone just rang.

Facebook Friends I Don’t Know Gang


New Year’s Eve Day was a disappointing day for me.  I met four Facebook Friends I didn’t know. 

ImageSan Miguel has a huge Facebook Family.  Once I got on Facebook, I started to get Friend Requests.   These were people I didn’t know and shamelessly I accepted the Request.  I was lonely.

One day I was on a Friend’s Page and clicked on a name.  The Facebook God suddenly told me that we had 4 Mutual Friends or (Friends with Xxxx).  Xxxx being a Facebook Friend I have beFriended.  I began to realize there was a whole San Miguel Facebook Family out there that of which I was not fully apart. The Facebook God in their desire to bring the Family together said Send Friend Request.  They looked interesting so I sent a Friend Request that they quickly accepted.  Bingo I had a new Friend I didn’t know.  Then some people I didn’t know began to send me Friend Requests.  Now I am not a Facebook Slut.  Some I didn’t accept as they didn’t look too interesting.     

Time passed and my San Miguel Facebook Family grew.  One day I asked a Real and Facebook Slut Friend (this is another Gang where they have over 1000 Facebook Friends),

“Do you know Xxx?”

I had seen this person Liking a Post my Real Friend had done and was intrigued.  They answered

“No I have don’t know them”. 

It was at that moment I knew as I know I was alone.  We were in the Facebook Friends I Don’t Know Gang. 

ImageI liked this Gang.  I like having Friends I don’t know.  They are really no work at all. I know what they look like or looked like.  I know their friends and family and often what they look like or looked like. I have no idea if what they put on Facebook is true or not but since I have never met them, I don’t have to do any work figuring out if it true or not.  I read their posts containing quotes from people they think are speaking their truth and can snicker away.  They are the best Friends in the world – no work Friends.  Depending on their Privacy Settings their Friends can comment on my posts and like my posts.  So I have a whole group of Semi Friends known as Friends of Xxxx.  I can look at their posts and decide if they are interesting or not. We comment on each other posts.  We are the best of Friends

ImageAnd yesterday that was spoiled.  I met four of my Facebook Friends I Don’t Know.  We are no longer in that Gang together.  We have moved from Facebook to the real world.  I didn’t want that to happen.

Now they have met me,  They have found out that all the pictures I posted were 15 pounds ago (in the wrong direction) and several years ago.  They could ask me direct questions and were limited to their ability to type quickly.  They had no time to edit what they were saying.   I found out things I would never  have found out on Facebook such as one Friend only sleeps 3 hours a day.  Previously I thought she was a normal sleeper.  What do I do with this information.  Another Friend likes to Farm Organically.  I had to pretend interest in things Organic.  She had no idea of my fear of the Saturday Organic Market here in San Miguel.  I have kept that secret from Facebook.

My whole Facebook World began to unravel.  Now what do I do.  They can ask me “Did you read my post on xxx?”  I have to lie.  I can no longer pass them on the street and have that “I know you from somewhere look”.  I have to stop and talk to them about things I can’t control.  This is terrible.  I left a Gang I loved to be part of the real world.  This isn’t supposed to happen.  I hate reality.


Some terms for those who aren’t on Facebook (hint – join it and be my Non Friend)


Friends are people you connect and share with on Facebook. Learn more.
Mutual friends are the people who are Facebook friends with both you and the person whose Timeline you are viewing. For instance, if you are friends with Chris, and Mark is friends with Chris, then Chris will be shown as a mutual friend when you are viewing Mark’s Timeline.



The Cold Gang

ImageI have arrived back in San Miguel and in moments joined an old gang – the Cold Gang.

Part of the initiation into this gang is to be able to say

I left central heating for space heating

This is a hard gang to be in as you have to learn the rules of layering.  You start with several pairs of underwear and tshirts.

Then you find some lumberjack shirts, six sweaters and finally a blanket to wrap around you near the space heater.

You then attend classes in cold management and magic.   You are told that good magic requires sacrifice and the first sacrifice you make is giving up warmth for magic. 

You say when you go out

I know its cold but is San Miguel and all this magic makes me warm.

Every day we get together in our Cold Management Course and do what is called Hug Warming and are made to take our gloves off.

We also learn about stone houses and how they keep cold and hot in.  Not sure what that has to do with getting warm but I do believe it has to do with rationalization.

We have been told to drink lots of wine because the cold doesn’t seem so severe.  I am afraid I will pass out and never wake up but I must be strong.

I think I might have to take a Rain Management Course too.

And this is just my first day here in San Miguel.  I will survive.


I Like or Don’t Like Things I Know Nothing About Gang

I have heard that many people say

I am not on Facebook because I don’t want to know what people had for dinner.

When you press further, you discover that they have never even seen Facebook or even looked at it but they have very strong opinions about something of which they know nothing. I thought about this for a while and began to realize this point of view is rather appealing.

Now what is it that I know nothing about but have a strong opinion about it.

On further thought I realize it works two ways. Negative and Positive Opinions about that which you know nothing about but what you have heard other talk about.

  • I love Oaxaca because of the art and the people but I have never been there.

  • I don’t like anyone in the Tea Party although I don’t know anyone who is a member.

  • I love Rembrandt even though I don’t know he is Dutch or is it Flemish. Doesn’t matter as I love him

  • I don’t like Quentin Tarantino even though I have yet to see any of his films. He simply glorifies violence.

  • I love street food in San Miguel although I never eat it.

This list goes on and on.

Let’s  review Facebook for those of you who have never been on it.

You don’t know this but it is another reason not to be on Facebook – You aren’t given a lot of choices on Facebook.

  • You can post (write words or show your pictures of yourself or others eating dinner)
  • You can comment (write words about what someone has written about dinner or a picture of what they had for dinner)
  • You can tag people that you know or don’t know (Tag means to name the person in the picture eating dinner)


  • And of course you can Like (indicate that you like what they are eating for dinner)

not like

I want this symbol on Facebook to entice those people who hate Facebook but have never seen it.

It us the Not Like Button to show that you don’t like things you know nothing about.

Imagine the rush to join Facebook to show just how much you dislike everything about it.

Cop a Feel Gang


Getting older has it benefits.  Behavior that was not tolerated when you were younger gets excused as

He’s just old.

He doesn’t mean it.

He doesn’t know what he is doing.

I think it is kind of cute.

And then the Mouseketeers appear and he has a moment where he thinks

“Can I get away with this?”

Well to even ask the question implies intent yet you know not all his faculties are working as they aren’t real.

BTW he did, was charged and convicted of misdemeanor batter and forced to write an apology and so 50 hours of community service without using his hands.

In San Miguel de Disney this crime would be an affront to the sensibilities of Magic, the end of Patriarchy, Loneliness and Mickey Mouse.

But surely at some age it doesn’t matter.I was at a dinner party where a gay man disclosed he had never been with nor touched a woman. I turned to the woman beside me and asked if he could cop a feel. She was offended and didn’t allow it. Subsequently I asked many women if they would help this deprived man and most were willing to oblige. I believe the solution here is in the delivery. Asking and taking are two different methods of delivery.

Simply say

I am gay and have never touched a woman’s breast.

It doesn’t have to be true but works a lot more effectively with little social fallout.

So old men of San Miguel, change your approach and you will cop all the feels you want.

New Geisha in Town

geisha 2Imagine my surprise when I found there was a new Geisha in town.  Well more Geisha meets Carmen Miranda.  There she was assisting Spencer Tunic in singing her favorite Japanese rock and roll song although I think wock might be better.  These Geishas are so helpful.  I know she is going to be busy and then to my surprise I saw who it was.

geishaIt was no other than our very own Patrice Wynn owner of Abrazos.

I knew Patrice was a famous business woman, style guru, woman in love but I never knew she was a Geisha.

Go into her store on Zacatecas and she how she is marketing her Geisha services along with all the products she sells.  This is a new market niche she is filling so well