#5 of 20 things I’ll miss about San Miguel:

I love how entrepreneurial people are in Mexico.  An old woman will spread out a sheet on the side of a road and sell jewelry; a house in our neighborhood seems to have a perennial yard sale going.  Lots of people who most likely have other jobs will earn a little extra by putting a table in their doorway in the morning to sell bread, pastries, jello, and juice to people on their way to work and school.  (Once I saw a guy drinking a raw egg & Tres Coronas sherry.  *shudder*)  One place right around the corner from us has been a great place to pick up a muffin on our morning walk to the munchkin’s school.  A couple of hours later, the table is gone, to reappear the next morning.

photo by Joy Morgenstern

One thing that makes this possible is the marked lack of permit requirements.  On balance, the lack of regulation in Mexico is a bad thing.   I’m sure lots of children die here every year from riding on their parents’ laps in the front seat of the car (there is a seatbelt law for kids, but clearly the cops don’t enforce it).  For that matter, I’m sure lots fall out windows, going by how flimsy our screens are, and in the US a house would not be legally put on the rental market, thank goodness, with the 18-inch gaps in the stairway railings ours here has (we filled them in with rope).   I’m sure Mexicans get very badly hurt from situations like the uncovered manhole I walked by (not, fortunately, into) that didn’t even acquire any warning cones until it had been that way for several hours.  In California, no one without a commercial, inspected kitchen can produce food for sale, while here, eating a paleta (popsicle) the vendor made with his tap water is a good way to get amoebic dysentery, even  if you’re a native and accustomed to the germs.  But the silver lining of Mexico’s laxness is pictured above.  I’m watching my weight, but I’m going to have to have one more of those chocolate-chocolate-chip muffins before I leave.