Yesterday my mother and sister arrived in San Miguel (SMA) to visit us in the field and to get a look at the work I do first-hand. My mother has never been to Mexico before, my sister has only seen the beaches of Cancun. I was excited to introduce them to some of the "real" Mexico, although I'm not entirely certain you would call SMA "real" Mexico.
Tomorrow I'm off to Guanajuato (the capital city) to do some archival research and to meet with another expat couple who wanted to avoid SMA and the American community here.
Many of my informants in SMA wonder how my mom will respond to the community here. Many of them had arrived here similarly (first time for a quick visit) and ended up moving here a few weeks later. Will my mom do the same thing? Is it possible she, too, will be swept away with San Miguel fever? Here are a few pix of her first day in Mexico:
Making it through customs. They got the green light (pase).
My sister at comida today. She ordered a HUGE molcahete.
These men are not extras for the next Zorro film, but (indeed) the SMA police. I've been told the mayor decided it would be more colorful to have them in vintage uniforms on horseback.
Meeting the vendadors. As my mom and sister don't speak Spanish, I had to help them out with negotiations. There is a simple rule of etiquette here: don't enter into negotiations unless you're serious about buying something.