Friday, July 26, 2013

Another Great Day Trip

The other night when we went for our walk we passed a small shop that sells some antiques along with other artisan pieces.   Prices are very high considering the area but we like to look anyway.  I'm not a big consumer so I don't buy anything but necessities.  We had a nice chat with the shop owner.  She recently moved from Queretaro to San Miguel de Allende.  Sold everything and built a small house and opened her shop.   She lives in an area we have never explored, La Fabrica Aurora.   This was a textiles factory that was in operation from 1901 to 1991 and now houses what is called an art and design center.  Apart from all the shops, expensive furnishings and art that are available, is the wonderful history of the factory.  The equipment is still in place and the shops are installed around it.  There are a couple of small cafes and restaurants.   We had a short trip but I think we will return over the weekend.

Yesterday I had an embarrassing situation.   We are still on the look out for a place.   We stumbled across some lots that are available from the city for teachers.  Even though we are not local, we can apply because we are (or Juan is) a retired government teacher.   The lots are good sized, backup to two exclusive neighborhoods and are well-located.   

We were sent to the city offices by one of the architects we met at one of the construction sites.   We met with the person in charge.   Most of it was about where and how to apply.   I stepped out for awhile to go to the bathroom.   In the hall was a gringa who was looking for the city to put up a street sign that was missing on her block.  After finding out that she was at the wrong office she went ballistic (in English).   She accused them of not knowing their jobs, sending her all over Timbuktu, telling them she would be sent to another office and from there probably another.  The whole time she is shaking her head talking in a condescending fashion.  As it  turned out, she asked  a transito where to get the sign.  How would he know.  Second, because she lives in the centro historico, that area belongs to UNESCO and is managed as a separate entity and the office is in the main plaza. 

I stood there listening to her rant in disbelief.   After she walked away, the guy at the counter looked at me and laughed.  We engaged in an interesting conversation, one which I have had many times with the locals.  Here is an excerpt from a research paper being done by Canadian Jesse O'Brien from the University of Calgary:

The first, he says, is that the expat community is negatively affecting the local population "even though they don't notice it themselves." For example, he said the expats often make no attempt to learn Spanish, and expect to be dealt with in English. And their relationships with the locals are based on service, not friendship. As a result, says O'Brien, the expats' relationship to the locals is often condescending.

1 comment:

  1. We understand your attraction to the area because of the weather and the locale, but find it strange that you want to live in a place with so many gringos and expats.