12 October 2011

Wings Over México: Week One

It has been exactly one week since Wings and I touched down at the little international airport in Leon and then took the shuttle here to San Miguel de Allende. I had emailed Hans, one of my landlords, in advance to pull the camper trailer out of storage and place it in its old spot here at the tennis complex. Scott has been living since then in that camper trailer across the way from my apartment and in between Courts Two and Three. It has worked out well for him.

Click on any of the photos below for a larger version.

To date I have not done a good job here of documenting his visit. He came down for a planned stay of two weeks. However, we have not yet booked his flight back. I had no idea whether he would be as enthusiastic about this place as I have since the beginning. As it has turned out, Scott is into it big time. We have simply walked around the city a great deal for the most part. Believe it or not, Scott is getting his walking legs back under him. However, because of his love for the food and drink here, his tummy has still not shrunk a bit that I can see.

On day one it became apparent that the worn out sneakers he brought with him were not going to cut it when walking on the cobblestone here. Furthermore, he had no head gear. This all required a trip to Mercado Ignacio Ramirez to purchase new hiking boots and a hat. I fitted him out with an extra pocket vest of mine, and he was in business.

Wings and I took in a basketball game at the park, parque benito juarez, a couple of days ago.

We have sampled several restaurants. So far his favorite by far is my own favorite, El Rinconcito, a little family run restaurant about five blocks from here. The couple who run that establishment are extraordinarily cordial. Their place is clean and neat. The food is spectacular.

Wings is watching the Texas-Oklahoma game at the Longhorn Texas Smokehouse up the street.

So far I think the highlight of Wings' stay has been our visits to Fortino's house out in one of the poorest neighborhoods in town, colonia Adolfo López Mateos. Fortino washes cars at curbside during the day on the main thoroughfare here, ancha de san antonio. I have written of him many times. He is the greatest street hustler that I have ever encountered and has regularly bilked me out of more money than I should pay for a wash and wax of my truck here. I noticed that Wings recoiled a bit at the poverty of the family at first, but Wings is Wings. He was soon right at home with the help of some brews on ice that we took with us.

This is the kitchen sink at Fortino's family's house.

The barrels behind Wings here contain the family's water supply. There is no running water out there.

The family cooked fish and tortillas for us upon our first visit. It was admittedly a risk for us to eat this. However, I talked Wings into sampling the food by assuring him that they had purchased the fish at the market. I thought that was true. Ultimately, I found out that the fish, probably some sort of carp relative, had come from the river here. Nonetheless, we lived through that meal obviously.

We gave Fortino some money to purchase a goat. This goat will be slaughtered this coming Sunday for a private fiesta at Fortino's house with his family. Wings and I will be in attendance.

Wings has been fascinated with the streets and sidewalks here as I was initially. I have written repeatedly about the experience of driving the streets here. Scott made his own little video of this as we drove across town yesterday.

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