Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guanajuato, Mex -- Out of Touch!

My Lord, how out of touch I've become. When we moved on 12/30/09, we moved so far away from downtown Guanajuato that, 1) we have to take public transportation to get there, and 2) downtown has changed and we weren't there to see it.

It is interesting how that if you get out of the downtown area and barrios close to it that you begin to find "other" Guanajuato's. This is a good thing. While house hunting in December 2009, we begin to find areas of Guanajuato that were actually quiet (like the place we live now), car traffic wasn't that bad so air was cleaner, people were a lot nicer and more "Mexican" than downtown, and so far no one has pushed us off the sidewalk and into the path of an oncoming bus.

The disadvantage, if it really is one, is that to walk to downtown you have to be in excellent shape and in some cases it is too far to attempt walking. So what, I say. We have actually walked the distance but regretted it later.

We had to go downtown today. We do this no more than twice and month usually and try to limit it to once a month.

We arrived at El Jardin by bus at about noon and it looked like an average day in San Miguel de Allende. It was loud, loud, loud (did I mention loud?). There was canned music playing from an unknown source. In typical Mexican style, the locals were louder than the music so as to be understood by the person with whom they were with and to whom they were screeching. There were scores of Gabachos spending their Gabacho dollars which was good.

Right now there is sidewalk war. The local owners of eateries are fighting with each other, but most of all the city, to be able to put tables on the sidewalk in front of their establishments. This looks all cutesy and San Miguelianish but it is causing a verbal donnybrook between store and restaurant owners. They are saying that such and such place has violated such and such requirement for tables and chairs.

Apparently, you can only have so many tables and chairs and this and that and if someone thinks you have too many of something, war breaks out. The main argument is that someone's tables, chairs, and customers are blocking access to someone's store or whatever. The only evidence I saw where pedestrians had to jump off the sidewalk, into the street, then back onto the sidewalk was in front of "La Capellina". (That place is overpriced and the food is terrible, if you ask me. Avoid it!)

As I sat in the Jardin people watching, I couldn't help but think how the locals in Cuernavaca must have thought at one time how protected and isolated they would forever be from the crime woes of the bigger cities. And yet, they are trying to sell their homes and look elsewhere for greener pastures because of the Narco-trafficker's wars that have broken out in their once safe little provincial town. Tourism, I read, is dead and the city is virtually bankrupt as the result of the Narco-traffickers presence.

How long? How long until Guanajuato is overrun by the Narcos and life changes overnight in this Colonial Mexican Treasure?

How long?



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