A FaceBook pal posted an activity for the upcoming afternoon of Holy Thursday. Holy Thursday is part of Holy Week, San Miguel’s most visited week of the year that leads up to Easter. I sent the gal a private message reminding her Thursday is Holy Thursday so downtown will be closed to traffic with gridlock on the surrounding streets so perhaps another day would be better for her guests that need to arrive to the activity by car. I was surprised after years of living here she didn’t recall how hectic this time of year is.
Her exasperated reply was brief and to the point – “I don’t care what the locals are doing.”
Well, that is certainly succinct way of summarizing an attitude.
When curious if something is a local ex-pat attitude, or a more universal thought process, I employ FaceBook pages focused on other ex-pat areas in Mexico. Without using her name, or the event’s, I simply summarized the situation in one line, her response in the second, “I don’t care what the locals are doing.” And in the third stated “I’m thinking of putting that on a tee shirt and making a fortune from local gringos.” to lighten the mood.
Well, the FaceBook gods and goddesses are nothing if not quick. I was flooded with replies mainly falling into the following categories:
- She may not care but it will affect her.
- Holy Thursday is a world-wide holy day, not a local event.
- If she is that disinterested in what goes on around her, why is she here?
In the gal’s defense, we in San Miguel de Allende do have a lot of processions and faith-based events. It’s a huge part of the city’s charm and I can’t imagine most foreigners know when it is the Virgin Mary’s birthday or why Baby Jesus wears yellow on February second as he gambols the cobblestone streets. However, Holy Week is huge and hugely attended literally bringing the town to a standstill for days. It would be difficult not to notice, or have a vague understanding of what is going on.
Well, the author saw a FaceBook post and wrote me to ask if I was referring to her and if so….
- Could she get a percentage off tee shirt sales (proving the humor escaped her)
- She thought she sounded “kind of ugly American”
- That not being Catholic, or even Christian, how could she be expected to understand such type of events? That, really, these local customs were of no relevance to her.
Wishing to neither confirm, nor deny, her involvement I simply replied “Planning an event is stressful. I hope you have a great time!” while I continued to be perplexed that the fellow Americans I so enjoy on tours, or the occasional visit up North, arrive to town to live can become so very, very ugly.
Joseph Toone is the Historical Society’s short-story award winning author of the SMA Secrets book series. All books in the series are Amazon bestsellers in Mexican Travel and Holidays. Toone is SMA’s expert and TripAdvisor’s top ranked historical tour guide telling the stories behind what we do in today’s SMA. Visit HistoryAndCultureWalkin