I grew up in the Soviet Union. At the time, it was common to name the streets of our cities after dead communist leaders, be it homegrown or foreign. For instance, there was a street in each city, town or village named after Lenin. In the area of Moscow where I lived, every time a leader of a friendly communist party would die, a street would be renamed after them. So, we ended up living on Walter Ulbricht street, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej street, Luigi Longo street or Salvador Allende street.
Since then, I associate the name of Allende with the coup d’état of 1973, with Pinochet and with the chant “¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!”. That’s what came to my mind when we decided to visit San Miguel de Allende, a colonial-era town and World Heritage Site.
After a half hour of stressful driving through the streets of Mexico City and three hours in the countryside, Julie and I arrived in San Miguel. We had coffee, we lazily strolled through city streets, we had a long lunch at a rooftop restaurant with a great view of the entire city, we strolled some more, took a nap, dined out, went to bed. Next day – repeat. In short, we practiced la dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing. A rare occurrence for us.
While soaking up the sun on restaurant rooftops, we let our minds passer du coq à l’âne – to drift from one subject to another. Or, in literal translation, to pass from a rooster to an ass, which in turn quickly became “to pass from cock to ass” in my Franglais. What is Nastassja Kinski doing these days? What if Leonardo Da Vinci were still alive? Should we buy our abandoned barn in rural France now or later? Mind-wandering has been linked to higher levels of divergent thinking and openness to experience, two common traits of highly creative people. Just saying.
Although we didn’t see anything stunning or do anything amazing this past couple of days, we had a good time. Practice makes perfect!
P.S. I brought my Brompton with me, in case I would have the time and desire to cycle, but Greengo spent both days in the trunk since we were too busy doing nothing.
This week in numbers:
45 km – distance cycled
1542 – the year San Miguel was founded
2000 – doors in the historic center of San Miguel behind which lies at least as many courtyards