Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chapter 22 of Book 1

The Sisterhood, Our Days and Nights!

When we were a small group of six, it was so different than the times we were up to twenty. Imagine twenty women  after the fellowship was over  going up to the roof to dance in the moon light and sing  songs like, “Who the fuck is Alice?” while drinking champagne with tequila shots. Or chasing down our Bling Bling cowgirl to try to get her old lady white padded knickers off her that she wore horse backing riding as she ran screaming.
Or walking into a bar at happy hour with all twenty of us taking up all the seats ? It took a very brave man to come up to any of us and try to start a conversation, it is difficult to bear the scrutiny of twenty women. Only those who were our close male buddies dared. 
We had a daily routine of stopping by the El Jardin cafĂ© all day long, at different times and with different members of our sisterhood at the same table. As the hour changed so did the group of women change. Sometimes we would just drink coffee, or have Bloody Mary’s or wine, and eat breakfast or lunch and talk and laugh loudly or sing Janis Joplin songs as it got later in the day.
I noticed that there was a group of older Mexican women doing pretty much the same thing as we were, but we never spoke to each other.  Later, we would meet at Berlin, Sunset Bar or Harry’s for happy hour and then decide where to eat dinner. Sometimes all of us would go together to eat dinner or separate into smaller groups if we felt like something different to eat. I remember one time we all agreed we were tired of eating out every single night and decided to go home alone and make something to eat. We all went home and looked into our refrigerators and cabinets and realized you have to shop to cook, and we each changed our clothes and went back out to eat alone. We all showed up at Berlin around the same time and were shocked to see each other there. There must have been a full moon that night as we were all full of energy and were told by people the following day that we were like the vortex of a tornado and no one could get close enough to enter.
One of the Sisterhood was from Minneapolis and loved to sing Karaoke. None of the rest of us did, but when she was in town I would go with her to Mama Mia’s and listen to her sing until the wee hours of the morning. When she finally moved to San Miguel de Allende permanently, I stopped going because I could not stay up until 3 or 4 am every night forever, as she could.
The week she usually visited was all I could muster. It was always in the back of my mind the wisdom Bob of Harry’s gave me when I first moved to town. He said, “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”  I remember when we first met her, Cali and I were walking out of Romano’s and discussing what girl to ask to go to dinner with us the following night with these guys who were coming into town. She suddenly walked in looking like Sarah Jessica Parker and we both asked her at the same time. From that moment on she was in our Sisterhood.
She is the one who got us all to join Facebook. Every time we were out and one of us wanted to have the waiter photograph us, we would all hand our cameras to him. Each night we sent each other the photos, except her. So one night when her camera came out I said that I did not want to be in her picture because she did not share. She said it was so much easier to post pictures to share on Facebook  then to upload them to an email. If we would join Facebook all her photos were there. She then taught us all how to join Facebook and make albums to share and tag each other.
I, however, did not know how public Facebook was and did not know about the privacy settings you could put on your albums. I found out on one of our chick trips to Houston. We were all at a club on Post Oak and were talking to different people in different areas of the club.
This man from Atlanta was buying me my drinks and talking to me. I kept noticing this other man staring at me. So when the man I was talking to left, he, of course, came over and asked if he could buy me a drink. I said, no thank you. I have had two, and that is my limit because I am the driver and I need to soberly gather my cubs as it is getting late. He said, “Oh my God, it is you, Bekka from San Miguel de Allende.”
I stopped and said, “Okay you can buy me a drink. I need to know how you know me.” He told me that he was planning a trip to San Miguel de Allende and a friend suggested he view my albums and everyone who follows my Facebook knows I call my girlfriends "my cubs."
When I returned to San Miguel de Allende, I was telling this story at the Longhorn to some friends and a man behind us overheard and remarked, "Why are you surprised? You don't know me either, and I have been following you on Facebook for a couple of years, and I am from New York City." I asked him why he never asked to be my friend, and he replied that he was old, fat and ugly and didn't think I would accept him.
We went out every single night of the week. There is always something to do in San Miguel de Allende. We have jazz & blues festivals, art walks, operas, plays, chamber music festivals, wine festivals, chili cook offs, rodeos, food festivals, charity events, film festivals, July 4th celebrations, sporting events, live music playing somewhere every single night, fireworks, light shows on our church, car shows, motor cycle rally’s, and wonderful dining.  We would go on day trips to Leon, Ceyala, Pozos, Bernal, Dolores, Guanajuato or Queretaro. Some of us had hobbies like horseback riding or ballooning.
We had two girls in our Sisterhood who were personal trainers. The rest of us walked everywhere and felt that was enough to keep us fit, in addition to dancing. We walked everywhere, hardly ever driving our cars since everything is so close, and parking was a big problem in San Miguel de Allende. When you would get a ticket, the police would take your plates so you had to go pay to get them back. The first time it happened to me I told the police that the practice was anti-tourism.  In Jalisco, to help tourism, a foreign plated car could park anywhere. The policeman replied, “Your Chihuahuas would make great tacos.”
On Tuesday we would walk around the Tuesday Market, a giant outdoor market the size of three basketball courts. Some argue with me and say the size of three football fields. I don’t know if anyone has measured it. But you can get lost from your friends. You can buy anything here, food, pets, plants, clothing, furniture, household goods, cosmetics, shoes, natural medicines and toys. Some of the clothing is new and some is gently worn and sold for 10 pesos each and thrown in a pile. Best of all you can buy whole deep fried fish and shrimp which we all wait in line for. There is a lady who has clay jars and sprite and ice for sale. But she also has tequila hidden underneath her table to add to it.
Every Sunday we would go to a movie. We had a real nice seven-plex in a mall that played American first-run movies in English and later two theatres opened up downtown that play independent and foreign films and include a drink and popcorn.   Sunday was always the day of rest in San Miguel de Allende. I liked to stay in my pajamas all morning and garden on my rooftop garden and my lower garden. One of the nicest things about living in San Miguel de Allende is that everyone has a roof top garden, and sometimes I felt like singing, "Maria" from West Side Story. But I cannot sing and did not want to make my neighbors laugh. It is fine to sing chorus with the girls, but not alone.
A link to a video of photos of our nights in San Miguel de Allende at Harry's, the place we expats hang at most:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU2NjiVWxQI
Horseback riding and balloon rides:
http://www.coyotecanyonadventures.com/
Our movie theatre:
http://mmcinemas.com/index.php
Our film festival:
http://www.expresionencorto.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78&lang=en
Chili Cook-off:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72SxiGYvm2o
Jazz & Blues Festival: