Monday, March 19, 2007

Buses and a New Friend

Saturday – Week 3: A slow start today as I took my siesta in the morning – well it is Saturday! Mary Ann gave me a bad time, but I assure you I slept poorly last night because of her snoring. Ouch, quit hitting me! When we made it out we adventured on to the public bus going up the mountain. There is a bus stop about a block from the casa and a bus comes by nearly every five minutes, if not sooner. We took the bus up to the Super Gigante even though we did not really need anything. We explored what is only a partially filled new open air mall, with the anchor stores being Super Gigante, Office Depot and MM Cinema. From the signs it appears a McDonalds is coming soon. We stopped at the Italian Coffee Company, which is a Mexican chain, and I had an oreo frappacino in Katy’s honor, as I know she is partial to such things.

On the bus back down the hill we got off at the El Mirador scenic view point. I, silly man, thought it was to take photos, but really it was to check out the artesania shops located at that location. We did buy a small picture frame to put Caitlyn’s photo (from yesterday’s blog entry) in for a present for Betti and her daughter. El Mirador is on our street, so we just walked back down the hill.

In the evening we had the wonderful opportunity to join a San Miguel expat for cocktails before going to the theater. For those of you who know Pat Malone in Wenatchee, her sister Natalie Hardy has lived in San Miguel since 1999. Natialie and Mary Ann our shown on her patio in the photo above. She has a beautiful casa in the Guadiana district of San Miguel, which is just south of Parque Juarez (and our car park). Her casa is a three level home with an attached casita (apartment) which she rents out. Natalie is the volunteer leader of the local SPA (Humane Society) and has two very spoiled cats. You can find Natalie in the Jardin on Thursdays, when the SPA is showing off animals and encouraging adoption. For more information about the San Miguel shelter and how you can help, visit their website at Following excellent hors d’oeurves we went to the theater at La Biblioteca. Performing was a terrific group of young people who presented a series of humorous skits culled from the best of several years of performances. Lots of laughs and great acting experience for the performers.

Quirky Living Note: Although the local city buses are a bit noisy and seemingly belching lots of fumes, they are everywhere and an easy ride for the locals and the gringos. It is my understanding that the buses are all privately owned, but licensed by the city and any fare on any route is limited to 4 pesos (40 cents), Because each bus is unique to the driver, the pay system changes on each bus. On some you pay when you get on, on some you pay when you get off, and on some the driver’s wife or another helper collects when you sit down.

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