My last day in Mexico, I spent a few hours in the Biblioteca de San Miguel de Allende. It’s a beautiful building and a great, fun library with a large English language collection which is primarily made up of, yes, the sorts of books that people bring to Mr. K’s used books, where I used to work. And, yeah, we would have rejected a lot of them for being too old and falling apart, which always made me a little sad, so it was nice to see these wacky old books being respected. I found a book by Rebecca West, essays about Mexico that were mostly written when I was an infant and I read about the first half and enjoyed it so much that I’ve ordered the book here so I can finish it. It did make me think, though, hey! Lots of Americans and British and other English speaking people visited Mexico in the 50s, including all the Beats and my Aunt Annie and even her extremely proper mother in law. But somehow in my lifetime that became either people going to Cancun for all inclusive resort stuff, which I’m sure is super nice if that’s your cup of tea but sounds like living hell to me, or 20somethings going to border towns to get completely fucked up. (I would have done that myself if I’d ever lived near the border but alas the closest I could ever get was South of the Border. note nobody goes there for that, they just go there for Blenheims gingerale and fireworks) Other than that, as I said in the last entry, I didn’t know anything about Mexico. I barely know anyone in my peer group who has ever been there. And I somehow missed just how old, how interesting, how rich and multi faceted the culture is. Now this may just be because I did spend most of my life on the East Coast. Possibly Americans from other states have better and more nuanced ideas of the real Mexico. I didn’t and I doubt I’m alone. Therefore it occurs to me, because I have a suspicious mind and I have seen a few too many conspiracy theories turn out to be true in the last twenty years, that if you are going to essentially treat an entire nation like chattel, what better way to start than by dismissing them as a nation of dusty peasants mired deep in poverty?
I will stop at this point waxing philosophical about Mexico as a whole! No, I swear! It is difficult to be light and funny in 2017 but I am going to try, dammit. My trip! Let me tell you it!
OK! We got to SMA (that is the abbreviation for San Miguel de Allende! By using it I am showing that I am in the know! Yes, only a seasoned world traveler would know to use those initials. Now you know too! SMA!) quite late on Wednesday night. Jodi had managed to let both the shuttle and the Airbnb house manager know about the delay because Jodi had cleverly contacted her phone provider beforehand and switched her phone around to an international plan. This had, uh, not occurred to me. I sort of thought that all phones worked everywhere now in this brave new world. Not true! Whoops!
Anyway, we got to the Airbng house and it was completely amazing. I felt like I had landed in an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and I also kept expecting to be summarily evicted for reasons of insufficient grandeur. It was so beautiful! Observe:
This is the entry way. From the the street, you see nothing but a stone wall and a metal door. Then it opens to a courtyard on the left of the WALL OF GLASS. My room was through that door straight ahead and also had a WALL OF GLASS which was extremely awesome except from about 6:30 to 7:00 am when it was, frankly, not awesome at all. In the hallway is the alarmingly beautiful bathroom with the best shower I have ever experienced in my life. Jodi’s room was through the door on the right there. Then, going upstairs, you arrive in the living room, with more of the WALL OF GLASS.
Through the door on the right is the kitchen and a small terrace with an amazing view, where you could and we did have breakfast or a late night drink. Note the glass bricks in the floor that illuminate Jodi’s room below. Who needs windows when you have a GLASS BRICK CEILING? Also those are stairs going down directly to her room so she could just come up and hang out on the terrace or, conversely, climb over the low wall and be in the kitchen. It’s an exercise circuit! And then, make a 180 degree turn and LO the stairs to the ROOF TERRACE. Next post, views from the terrace!