suddenly come true?
Recently I've received news of outbreaks of San Miguelophobia, particularly in the picturesque mountain town of Pátzcuaro, where the sun goes up and down every day, and in the heavily air-conditioned Pacific Coast resort of Barra de Navidad, where in August even iguanas wear sun protection. There might even be a case of it in Redmond, Calif., wherever that is.
Those afflicted keep knocking San Miguel for being a formerly beautiful colonial town now overrun with tchotchke stores catering to obnoxious American tourists. There is no basis for those stereotypes.
Alright, maybe some. Several years ago I attended San Miguel's solemn Good Friday procession, with its long lines of veiled women dressed in black, clutching rosaries and crucifixes and whispering prayers.
Then I noticed that an amply proportioned, middle-aged woman, wearing hot pants, a too-skimpy Texas A&M sweatshirt and a cowboy hat—all in shades of pink—had climbed on a lamppost to get a better view of this most sacred spectacle.
I cringed and for a second wished that a bolt of lightning from an angry God would hit the lamppost the woman was perched on—or at least that I'd been wearing an "I'm Canadian" t-shirt.
And now the flood of American tourists, which had ebbed following the 2008 financial crash in the U.S. and reports of rising drug cartel violence in Mexico, may resume following a bizarre report in Travel and Leisure magazine that its readers had designated San Miguel de Allende as "Best City in the World." In the whole, wide world. On the entire earth. En todo el mundo.
“San Miguel is one of the most authentic, creative and cost-effective destinations we’ve visited,” says a T+L reader of the colonial city, a part of which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. “Over the years we’ve discovered more great restaurants and activities, but the town still maintains its Mexican heritage, culture and charm.”
|Move over Florence, San Miguel is Number One.|
Yes, San Miguel is very nice but how does it come ahead of fourteen other destinations on the list, such as Florence, Barcelona, Rome, Cape Town or even Oaxaca?
The article in T+L mentions that San Miguel is cost-effective, which I guess is true compared to Italy or Spain. Or that it has some nice restaurants and hotels, also true—but compared to Rome or even Oaxaca, famed for its cuisine?
What I fear now is a double-whammy: Hordes of T&L readers coming to town in addition to the swarms of Mexico City chilangos, most of them hiding behind Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses and driving Porsche Cayennes, BMWs, Range Rovers and even an occasional Lamborghini, that already choke San Miguel on weekends
The badmouthing by those San Miguelophobes might come true.
Dear reader, pray for us.