twas no fury, finding our way to the car rental agency, where we had managed to avoid being up sold on the useless GPS navigation system and were kindly handed a colorful map that pointed to some tourist destinations with roads vaguely guessed upon print. we're saving money, as our treasures, once found, will have to be paid for. we walked out to find a wide assed man delivering our trusty jalopy. a small white four door hatchback that had severe bumper damage and a nude spare on the passenger side. I walked around to the driver's side which was immaculate. draw your own thoughts on this allusion.
we threw our bags into the back seat, hopped in, popped the clutch and reversed over the fat bottomed fella's foot, before complaints could be filed we peeled away, leaving no cloud of smoke and zipped over the next fifteen speed bumps painlessly. great start. "the Maggot," as it would be lovingly referenced to from now on, was small, quick and smooth, just what we needed for the freestyle driving ahead.
the maggot moved along the road as if it were on route to its last chance at metamorphosis, the two of us huddled inside, with billboards passing by as pages from an outdated sears catalogue soap opera. our destination was the city of san miguel de allende, 2 1/2 hours away and a supposed feast for the arts. with two to four miss calculated turns we drove onto the cobble stone streets of san miguel a comfortable 3 hours later. our bnb address was written on a napkin and we pulled over to ask for some simple directions and find something to eat.
being in the centre of the city as we were, we had no problem finding good food, as the trip advisor banner over the restaurant stated we were dining with an award winning chef. I ordered the duck enchiladas smothered in mole, barclay ordered something safe. our meals arrived as we sipped on some tasty beverages and enjoyed the open air patio, it's colourfully painted stone and plaster walls crawling with vines and the trees abuzz with small birds.
my stomach gurgled with apparent pleasure as we stepped out onto the steep street, the golden sun poured across the valley in the distance and we moved toward our car. "Oh!" we had forgotten to ask for directions! barclay popped into a pet store, as she would be doing all of the communicating throughout the trip, since i had been bitten on the tongue by an english speaking ignorance. i leaned against the building and watched the movement in the street, a woman selling hats, a man painting with his easel set on the corner of the busy sidewalk, small children pick pocketing tourists and passing the wallet off, a chain of small dirty hands moving it quickly through the crowd. noooo that didn't happen, this is mexico, not oliver twist.
barclay emerged from the shop, fresh directions in hand and we got into our car. after many passes up tight, steep side streets and bumpy, crowded, one way avenues, we eventually found our way to the high roads of town, as we climbed we noticed all the houses becoming bigger and fancier, each with a view more drool inducing than the last. finally, at the apex of the hillside, we found our "air bnb" address, a modern home in a gated community with 5 balconies overlooking the entire city, the entire valley, perhaps the entire country. the sun was very low now and the hills shone with an aztec glimmer as we fingered the buzzer of the elegantly carved wooden slab door in front of us. the maggot wheezed and ticked with delight as she cooled down in the driveway.