Starting on Fridays and lasting til Sundays San Miguel fills up with tourists. And I don't mean the usual ones who are always here. I mean the Mexicans who come for the weekend from Queretaro, Leon, Mexico City. El Jardin (the center of the center) becomes dense with men, women, and children strolling in every direction. Vendors selling balloons in the shape of rockets; all manner of sweets, corns, fruits, ice-cream; bands of mariachis in black suits with studded pants; teenagers meeting and flirting; humangous paper-mache figures ambling slowly; donkeys covered in flowers stand near the church for photo opportunities; music and voices mingling and rising above the tree canopy. It's a party every weekend well into the night. Traffic, as a result, becomes a nightmare. The insanely narrow streets clog up with cars and buses going in opposite directions.
Two nights ago, as we were sauntering to our dinner destination, we witnessed two buses poised opposite a long line of cars. Half of the street was closed due to construction. Which meant there was only one narrow lane to navigate for both directions of traffic. No one was budging. There was no place to go sideways and escape. Someone had to relent and move backwards. Claire took up the job of directing the traffic. Slowly the cars began to reverse and ran into the cross street behind them also clogged up. A couple of bikers almost slammed into one of the cars. Finally a policeman ran from wherever he was and started blowing his whistle and gesturing to cars and buses. Gradually the orderly movement of vehicles was restored. Our duty done, we continued on to our supper.
Saturday is here and I know downtown will be a mad house again, not to mention Sunday. The taxi driver last night commented on my observation of heavy traffic: Esto no es nada (This is nothing). His wry humor continued through our ride back home. When I translated for Claire what he said, he asked: Usted es la interprete? (Are you the interpreter?) I laughed and agreed. Debe ganar bien (You must make good money). I chuckled and replied: Lo hago por la gloria (I do it for the glory). When we approached the house he saw all the big flower pots lined up atop the wall with cacti and commented: Les hacen falta algunas macetas (You need some flower pots). There are certainly many of them, perhaps too many.
Tomorrow Lin, the landlord, and we are going to an art opening outside the city. She promised a delightful time and an unusual experience. I'll let you know on Monday.