Sunday, December 23, 2007

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

So far so good on the family-visit front. On their first day here, we gave them the walking tour of every nook and cranny of interest in this fine metropolis. We dragged it out as slowly as we could, but after lunch we realized we now had four and a half more days to kill, and nothing on the agenda.

(Side note to the Municipality of Querétaro: you'll be proud to know that you've been declared 'amazingly clean' - echoing the verdict of our visitors from last Christmas as well - a certification my childhood bedroom rarely, if ever, received. Muchos saludos, amigos!)

Over the weekend, we took a day trip to San Miguel de Allende, "The Friendliest Place on Earth." ("It's always like this?" Dad asked, after the third random stranger "couldn't help overhearing" our conversation at lunch and decided to join in. "Sort of," I said, noting that, in a year and a half in Querétaro, the only time we have ever spoken to our next door neighbor is when he came over to inform us that there was an enormous jet of water cascading from our rooftop tank and flooding the alley between our houses.)

That said, both were taken with the staggering beauty of the place, and overwhelmed by all the new and exciting things there. For example, Dad was fascinated by the andamio, which is some sort of a Mexican climbing contraption used for scaling the exterior of a building. Our guide explained that, while the andamio as we know it today was brought to the new world by the Spanish, the Aztecs had their own version, made from solid gold and wrapped in tobacco leaves.

While Dad was off testing the scaffold's duty-rating, Mom was exploring the strange, exotic creature known here as the caballo - "like a toro bravo, but without horns or the urge to kill everything in its path," was how it was explained to us. Apparently, they eat oats and can be used for both pulling and carrying things - humans included, as crazy as that sounds!

(Joking aside, you're probably wondering, "Christ, how tiny is Frank's Mom?" It was a really, really big horse.)

Yesterday, we passed the afternoon here at Burro Hall, watching Los Patriotas de Nuevo Inglaterra crush Los Delfines de Miami 28-7, and were somewhat disappointed to learn that the "Goooooooooool!!!!" thing is reserved for the other kind of football only.

Today, we plan to take them to the mercado the locals call "El Wal-Mart" for some last-minute shopping. I'm hoping it won't be too much of a culture shock.


O$ said...

The picture of your father taking vacation snapshots of scaffolding in a foreign country did a lot to alay my concerns over his upcoming retirement. It's gonna be a smoooooth transition, huh? Your mother doesn't have access to firearms, does she?

And fwiw, while that horse may have been hue, your mom IS really tiny under any scale of measurement. I've been worried she was going to lose 10 pounds she doesn't have to give up due to her inability to find Los Bertini's in your neck of the woods.

Glad to hear you were able to catch the Pats squishing the fish. (There, I said it, whattya gonna do about it?)I was at the game, which was intersting for only the first half. The highlight of the day was watching the MedFlight chopper do it's thing after some doofus did his best George Reeves impersonation. I'm a Golden God!!!

All my best to you and the missus and give your folks a big Hebrew Hug from me.

Anonymous said...

Take them to the Pastorela, and the bullfight in christmas day is very traditional, also there are concerts of teh philarmonic orchestra and the traditional orchestra, there are also some plays.

You also can go to Bernal or to Amealco to feel the cold again.

Museums, you can get them there too.