Monday, July 22, 2013

More Adventures in San Miguel

Things I've learned in my first week:

-Flip-flops really do suck for navigating cobblestones, but when you have a bruised little toe, they're the only shoe that really works.

-Hairdressers here are either outrageously priced, booked for months, operate from apartments, or look too suspect to risk here. I found the one everyone likes, but she didn't have an appointment until September. By then, I'll be home. I'm thinking about going to the cheap one, but I really don't need a bright blond strip across my hair, so I'll probably go to a Redken salon in Mexico City or Queretaro instead. My colorist uses Goldwell, but she used to use Redken and they have lots of locations in Mexico.

-The best food prices are at the fruit and vegetable market, which is an amazing bargain. The best supermarket is not in town—you take a bus to Soriana. It's really quite easy, just grab the 7-8-9 bus from Mesones at Colegio. It's only 5 pesos and you'll see Soriana at a large roundabout on the right-hand side after a few miles. In town, if you don't want to trek out to Soriana, there's a great little grocery called Bonanza at Mesones 43A.

-Movistar is the cheapest prepaid SIM for unlocked mobiles, and you can buy it so it comes with unlimited social networking and e-mail for 30 days. Finding someone who sells that SIM is another story. I finally bought mine at a shoestore at Insurgentes 43 after asking at phone stores for a week.

-Bajiogo has a great airport shuttle to Queretaro, the closest airport. I'm sure it cost too much to fly into Queretaro regularly, but if you use miles, it's a low-demand route.

-Street food here looks a lot more greasy, fried, and disgusting to me than the Taco Truck at home. I remember getting some great street food in Chihuahua and El Fuerte years ago, but here I have yet to see any that doesn't make my heart hurt just from looking.

-The retirees who come into the coffee shop and practice pleasantries with the barista are so cute, and trying a lot harder than I am. And they don't butcher it or slip in French like I do. I will try harder.

-This seems to be a retiree activist community. These people have a real community going and all seem to be involved in arts and projects. By projects, I mean raising money for local charities. It's pretty sweet, not at all what I expected.

-For buying coffee to use at home, there's a fantastic place called Cafe Ventana. Yum.

-The walking tour here is excellent. Here are some photos.

-The little tinny electronic song you hear played at least once a day, sort of like the ice cream man but possibly even more annoying? It's the gas man. He'll sell you bottled gas.

-Here are a few great places to eat, and some of them have lunch menus of the day: La Mesa Grande, Vivoli, Cafe Contento, Via Organica, El Pegaso, and of course, I've only been here a week so I'm sure I'll find plenty more.

I still haven't sorted out the hairdresser part, and I haven't tried to do laundry yet. There are plenty of drop-off washing places, but I only saw one self-service on the way to Soriana, and that seems overkill to take my laundry on the bus when there's a drop-off place on the corner. I so have letting other people do my laundry though. There's always the risk of shrinkage.

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