Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gringo Happy Hour

You never know what you're going to find here. Last night Ken, the kids (yes, they went too) and I went to Gringo Happy hour. Bill (a.k.a. "the King of the Jardí­n") invited us last week, so we decided to check it out. The bar, Los Milagros, is a spacious place that was wall-to-wall gringo. The photo above of Bebe and her mommy Jo was taken when we arrived. I was sorry the photo didn't turn out as well as I hoped, because they both looked quite lovely otherwise (Jo and Bebe always dress alike).

Over the course of the 6-8 PM happy hour, a two-man band sang gringo tunes (mainly country and western) and the some 100 people socialized from table to table. The main bar was full, there was also a back room with a pool table where the kids were about to hang out and play billiards (which is what my kids did).

Everyone was very friendly, and it was but one example of the events here to create a sense of community. The King of the Jardín pulled Ken and me aside during the evening and suggestethatht we move here, because we fit in so well with the "native" crowd. That is a fieldwork coup, let me tell you.

Today I've been invited to the "Unchanging Nature of Man" luncheon. I'm not sure what that will entail, but I'll be detailing it here. And Ken has been invited to join the guys for lunch during the week (a group of Dallas men get together Monday through Friday for lunch). We were both actually invited to all of the events, but someone has to take care of the kids, so we plan to rotate.

I was able to finish my interview with Julia yesterday. The Soundstudio software worked great and the computer recorded at a pretty high quality, so until my sister and mom arrive with my back-up equipment, I'm able to plug along as well.

More later this afternoon...


laurie cousart said...

Sounds like fun. Have you seen Tony Cohan's new book (Mexican Days)about SMA and othe r places in Mexico? His first book (On Mexican Time) is where many folks first heard about this wonderful city. His latest book starts with feeling overwhelmed with the impact that popularity and gringos have had on SMA. And the new one looks at some other places that might have the same "magic". I understand, as we too are looking for other places like SMA, Patzcuaro has been suggested by some SMA locals.


Deb said...

Actually, a lot of people here are talking about Patzcuaro as an alternative to SMA, in fact, one woman told me that if she were younger (she's currently 92) she would probably consider moving there.

The big issue here now is that most gringos think that there are too many gringos here, an interesting paradox, I know.

Theolog said...

The issue of not learning Spanish in SMA, I investigated for my book, "You Can Learn Spanish or Any Language No Matter Your Age or Disposition".

It is based on more than 40 years of research that has all but been ignored in the mainstream second language acquisition instruction in most schools worldwide.

The point of the title and the theme of the book is that "no matter your age, the mechanism for second language acquisition is the same that applied when you learned your native tongue." In other words, aging, the evidence doesn't support as a valid reason for not becoming bilingual. And note I do not say "to learn a language" but "second language acquistion". Who wouldn't balk at learning translation and exegetical techniques when what you want is to develop a high degree of SPOKEN fluency.

And, there are those in SMA, who have told me when I've point this out to them: "Why should I have to learn SPanish when I require those with whom I deal to speak English".

So, there you go! Motive is certainly everything.

Doug Bower