So we have rented an apartment on the edge of town in colonia San Antonio, a mostly Mexican working class neighborhood interspersed with a few gringo owned houses, conspicuous for their impeccable painted facades in designer pastel colors.
One of the prerequisites I have when looking for in a place to live in San Miguel is whether or not it has a decent rooftop. And this one is the best. From here we can see almost the entire city sprawled out on the hillsides, church spires and mountains rising in the distance. Our landlord, who runs his upholstery business out of the garage downstairs and understands the spoiled demands of his gringo tenants, has provided padded lawn chairs and tables under a tile roofed pergola from which to hang out and take in the view.
It’s not hard to see why so much happens on the rooftops here, and because I have a hard time being indoors on sunny days (Mark never seems to have that problem), I climb up onto the roof with a morning cup of tea to check out the world around me. Besides the undeniable beauty of the long view, I also take in the immediate surroundings and check out what is happening on other people's rooftops, where ceramic pots and tin cans overflow with flowers, bushes, palms and cacti, and scruffy roof dogs pace among the water tanks and satellite dishes. It appears that women have been awake since the predawn hours doing laundry, as shirts and undies hang from line strung across TV antennas and rebar like colorful Mexican prayer flags. Down below in the patios and backyards, roosters strut and crow, old women putter about in the gardens with watering cans, and a young boy splits wood for the fireplace. From the front the of the house I can look down at the cobblestone street below through the tangled mass of electric wires where a few people scurry to work or school, past a little alcove with a statue of what appears to be San Antonio himself, a bloom of fresh lilies in his stone hand. And for the moment I feel glad that I am here, with no agenda, just to watch and listen and wonder what surprises this day will reveal.
A vermilion flycatcher perches in a nearby treetop, and I decide to take it as a sign that this will be a good day, and go downstairs to make breakfast and see if I can get Mark out of bed.
-posted by Susan