Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Little Things

Maybe I'm trying to rationalize my return from two months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Perhaps it's the leave taking of delightful weather, speaking Spanish, taking yoga from the best instructor I've ever had.

Or maybe it's the festivity of the place.  The fiestas left and right.  The chance to just let it rip.

But there are the little things I won't miss . . . the things one has to put up with when traveling in a foreign country like Mexico:

*     The cobblestone streets that look charming (see above photo) but that make walking a challenge.  Sturdy shoes and head down required.
*     The lack of central heating.  January and February mornings and evenings can be rather chilly.  The temperature can drop into the 30s.  But there's no thermostat to dial up.  Nope.  It's a gas fireplace(s), small electric heaters, piles of blankets, multiple layers of clothing . . . Still, with all of these accoutrements, there's no guarantee that you'll be warm.
*     The water, when sipped from the tap or accidentally used to wash fruits and vegetables, that often leads to "Montezuma's Revenge."  Bacteria.  A parasite.  Who knows?  But gulping down a cool glass of tap water is a no-no.  Eating fruits and vegetables that have not been washed in aqua purificado is also a big no-no.  And, dear me.  Don't dare swishing water after brushing your teeth or you risk spending a good deal of your vacation on the toilet.
*     The signs in most bathrooms, public and private, plead for you not to flush toilet paper but to put it in the available can or waste paper basket.  Now, I don't know about you, but the idea of putting used toilet paper in an often open container doesn't smell right.
*     Ah, and speaking of smells, it's the polluted canal that runs through the city that sends visitors and locals alike for cover, or, at least, a pair of hands over nose and mouth.  I've actually seen those in the know wear those face masks that are most appropriate for working in a hospital, not walking down a charming but smelly street.
*     While I'm at it, I have to mention the casa-shaking noise after every toilet flush (okay, we cheat and flush), every hand wash and definitely after bath or shower.  One night someone forgot to release the toilet handle, and we were bombarded all night long until my husband dragged himself out of bed, followed the noise, and lifted the handle.

My friends will kill me if they ever read this blog (They won't!) and all of my complaints.  After all, they were stuck in Chicago and suffered bone-chilling temperatures, dark, gloomy days, and piles of snow that required shoveling from morning until night.

What right do I have to complain about minor inconveniences?  I guess it all depends on your perspective.

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