We've been in San Miguel for less than a week, but already I've started to look at real estate and have made declarations such as "let's stay here forever." It's easy to feel that way about a new town, especially one as lovely as SMA. It is absolutely no surprise that many of the first websites you'll see when you do a Google search for this town are specific calculations and breakdowns on how your US social security check will cover all of your monthly expenses. The SoCal climate, culture, and colonial architecture drive people here from all over the US and Canada. Plus, there is karaoke at The Beer Bar tonight! And helado at every corner. Which is well deserved after running up and down the steep hills around here.
There are no shortage of roof tops with dos por uno margaritas offers and incredible views (like this one, from the Luna bar at the Rosewood Hotel).
Our house has great wifi, which is crucial since I'm working (and Spencer is about to start next week). But we're finding some other spots around town where we can work as well. The library is one of those spots, it has an inexpensive cafe, and the building is pretty fantastic too. It's an old monastery (we think) that was built in 1661. The library is stocked with a huge selection of English books and magazines, and it's sort of a morning meeting spot for expats as well. I practiced ordering a latte, asking "tienes otros tipos de leche?" and received a soy latte. Yeah, expat spot for sure.
But it's not all super plush. Since we've been here, there has been construction on the house next to ours every day, all day. "Construction" really means two guys with mallets attempting to take down a large brick wall. They're making progress. Slowly. Our landlady has admonished them repeatedly for dropping debris into our yard. She could also be upset about the fact that we put the trash out a few days ago and the trash can disappeared... forever.
Living here also means waking up at 3 a.m. every morning to the sound of this one dog that loves to sing out to the neighborhood. He's practicing soprano and falsetto, not really improving, but that never stops him from trying for a few hours in the middle of the night when his voice really carries. Kind of like singing in the shower, but if your entire block could hear. And you didn't care.
We've also found a few fantastically seedy establishments around here. Two of which were frequented by Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. El Gato Negro (on our street) and La Cucaracha bar are particularly interesting. Last night we ventured into La Cucaracha (cockroach) and sat down at the bar where a cockroach immediately ran across my hand, welcoming us and letting her friends know that we'd arrived. Spencer loved this place so much that he was quickly convinced to purchase this hat.
About 20 minutes after we arrived there was a group dinner served to all of the patrons. This involved everyone bringing plastic cups up to the bar and scooping communal food (soup?) from a large orange bucket. No one seemed to purchase this food, and everyone knew what to do when they saw the bucket pulled from the back of the room. More research is required on our part to really understand what happened, but I can say that it was awesome. And that kind of sums up our new town so far.