A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!


Visit Expedia…

Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

I was very pleased to win an award for this blog! Even better for you: click through for lists of all sorts of award-winning travel blogs.

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

May 18, 2005 — Today Kelly and I went to Queretaro with our friend Rob. It was more for fun than anything, though we did plan to open an account with Lloyd’s, an investment firm that has many of the functions of a bank. Rob parked his car in the parking garage of the mall where Lloyd’s is located. When we went there about three months ago, Kelly could hardly believe we were in Mexico, so this time we took a lot of photos to show the world.

First, we had coffee in the mall. The man on the left is on his cellphone, a common sight. Rob had just bought a new Sony Ericsson cellphone here last week and he stopped in to ask for help in figuring out some of the advanced features, like sending photos. It turned out that there was some kind of glitch, I’m not sure whether it was nation-wide or just in the region, but nobody had been able to use those features for two weeks! Nobody had thought to tell Rob when he bought the phone.

Rob went off to a meeting for a few hours. Kelly and I went to open our account but the bank manager suggested we wait till we get our FM-3 visas soon, as we will be able to get a more versatile account.

So then we walked a few blocks to the Prisa paint store of a friend of ours, singer-guitarist Luis Estrella of Tequisquiapan. He and his family have turned up in this blog several times before. He had just opened this store recently — we met them at another store of theirs, in Ezequial Montes, near where we live in Bernal. Luis happened to be at the other store, so we just left him a note. Then we walked along a main street which has a lot of chain stores. And we thought we’d left Suburbia behind! Note Costco just beyond it.

We walked about four long blocks to… Wal-mart. We wanted to find out what it had, as a help in deciding later what we needed to bring to Mexico from the United States. We didn’t take any photos inside, but just picture your local large Wal-mart and that is exactly what it looked like. Except that things were in Spanish.

We walked back and still had some time, so we went inside a mall across the street from the mall where we had started out and where we were to meet Rob. I was really glad we did, because I explored the Commercial Mexicana store and found it had most things that Wal-mart did. While I did that, Kelly took a picture inside the mall:

Then the security man asked him not to take any more. So he didn’t until we crossed the street to the original mall, Plaza Boulevardes, where he took this shot at my request:

And this one… there are about ten movie theaters just to the right. You can see the CINE sign high on the wall, along with the Food Court sign.

It’s not that I’m so enamored of malls — I rarely go to them in the US — but I do think this set of photos shows a different Mexico than many Americans would expect. I’m often struck too by how many of the cars are late model and kept gleaming:

When Rob rejoined us, we had lunch at “California” in the mall, where Kelly and I had the Executive Package. For just over $4.00 US each, we had a delicious creamy corn soup which was subtly hot, followed by a main course of chicken or fish with rice, with iced tea or iced herb tea, plus a simple dessert. Rob chose the buffet, and when he came to the table with his dessert plate, Kelly jumped up and took a photo:

The mall had a special feature going on. Over a dozen vendors from Oaxaca, far to the south, had been invited to have booths selling handicrafts and clothing. My favorite part of the whole day was when I began chatting with a woman selling clothing at one of these booths. She was so friendly, real, and direct. She said she loved talking to us because it was fun to meet people from everywhere, and that no matter if people were brown, white, or black, we were all equal in the eyes of God. My sentiments exactly. I asked her if she was from the city of Oaxaca, and she said no, she was from a town in the mountains an eight-hour bus ride from there.

I was looking at some of the hand-embroidered blouses when I suddenly remembered that last night I had had a dream about turquoise clothing. So I ended up buying this outfit from her for about $22 US total, plus $6 more for the necklace and earrings:

The photo is taken back home in Bernal, glad to be back in our quiet little town after a full day out.

3 Comments from the old blog:

  • At May 18, 2005 9:50 PM, Blogger BillieS said…

    Oh my, I’ve been to almost all of the places you wrote about today. We have to make a Costco and Walmart run about every 6 weeks from San Miguel. On Flickr, I have a series of pics about shopping. Some of them are from the Walmart…shot from the hip. I didn’t raise the camera to the eye, just aimed and shot.

    I’m loving your blog.

  • At May 19, 2005 1:17 PM, Blogger Abundio and Ruth said…

    Just the shot of encouragement I needed! What a difference between these and other rural areas. I agree with you, this gives a whole other picture of Mexico.

    Was the security guard who asked Kelly not to take more pictures concerned about terrorist activity? I have to say I hadn’t thought of that until that comment.

    Thanks for the pictures!

  • At May 19, 2005 3:54 PM, Blogger Rosana Hart said…

    Billie, it was fun to get a response from someone else who’s been there. Kelly’s done some good from-the-hip shots at times too! I didn’t care enough to ask him to in Walmart!

    Glad you’re liking the blog. I may eventually use it as the basis for a new book.

    Ruthi, I think the security guards were more likely there to discourage shoplifting. With all those stores full of chic and expensive goodies, the teenagers must be mighty tempted. Plus there is a long tradition in Mexico of guards in places where the wealthier folks hang out. Queretaro has a reputation as a very safe city… and the vibes are good there!

One Response to “The Malls of Queretaro”

  • Solinvictus69 says:

    Hay una Plaza muj bonita en Queretaro que se llama Plaza comercial las maravillas, esta plaza es de una aqruitectura unica y bella esta ubicada en Carr. a Tlacote 186 es una plaza muy simpatica y de buen gusto, los invoto a que la visiten, yo fui y quede maravillado con todo lo que tiene les dejo un linck para que vean algo de ella

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