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Thinking of San Miguel…

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By Brenda Howald Special to The Seattle Times

Brenda Howald has worked in arts administration and Public Health of Seattle and King County during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. She teaches English as a second language in the pre-college studies department at Highline College. This is her latest on San Miguel de Allende

It’s the mornings when the contrast is most clear. I wake up in Seattle to a deafening silence, longing to hear the roosters, palomas, barking dogs and the people in the street I heard every morning during my recent 10 days in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I mutter in Spanish because the language refuses to leave my mouth. I wait for someone to show up at my doorway, call my name, but no, so I text a couple of friends only to receive the typical Seattle response — they won’t be available for several days or weeks. If I want contact, I’d best make an appointment.

I drive a few blocks, passing the homeless encampment that showed up three months ago not far from my house. I head to Eastlake, a trip that now takes an hour and 15 minutes because the West Seattle bridge has been closed nearly two years due to cracks found in its underside. As I drive down the freeway, I see the concrete embankments are entirely covered with graffiti now as opposed to a month ago when I could still spot unblemished patches.


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