Feb 14, 2009, 11:05 AM
Post #10 of 24
Ah, Guanajuato, I’ve told this story before and enjoy telling it again. One of a number of things I haven’t forgotten about Mexico, is the nature of some locals met in GTO. One night when hanging loose and browsing around El Centro and the main street where most all commiserate, we got an appetite for something different, so just about where the main Mercado is, across the street was like an outside, large food court. The various outside sort of euro restaurants had menus on pedestals, hanging on walls and iron structures inviting you to partake in their offerings.
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Aside from some of the eateries providing entertainment, our eyes caught a menu, which brought smiles to our faces when it displayed a very large variety of crepes. We love good crepes, so we hung there for quite sometime, listening to entertainment and sipping. Upon leaving, on the way out toward the main street, something unusual happened of which I will always remember.
As we approached the main street from this large food court, ahead to my left, in the shadows under the ornate lampposts (even though it was at night) a very small silhouette of a sort of hunched over person with extended arm holding out a flyer stood there, even though no one was there to collect one. As we got closer, a face so old and cragged with such deep wrinkles they looked like sun-baked crevasses formed by thousand of years of standing in the wind and rain. The shadows of the night made it a bit startling in a haunting sort of way…..
I was awe struck. I don’t know if it was the dark, the shadows or what but I had to stop and talk to this very, very old man. I kind of presupposed this ancient, this relic would have a hard time talking to me, but was I totally surprised. When he opened his mouth, the voice I heard was not only soft, and distinct, but very balanced, as well. His voice was saying much more then words, they spoke of this old man’s life’s determination to stand out on the street close to midnight doing what he had to do, as he’d probably done most of his life, and during his time, the years were probably not in the best of conditions. Although his voice revealed he was a native of GTO, his stories of before vehicles and more were very interesting but what spoke the loudest, was this human beings will to survive….
To make a long story shorter, this ol’mans fierce, determined but yet gentle eyes looked to us to sell a tourist package of the city, with pictures and all the trappings a good presenter would have to close a deal. I took on a liking to this well spoken billboard. He had allot of guts and fortitude and maybe a bit hungry to be standing out there close to midnight, clinging for that last sale….
He mentioned that if I bought the tour of the city, he’d personally meet me bright and early in the morning at the ticket office, which just happened to be about fifty feet from the front door of my hotel El Insurgentes. I gave him a fifty-peso deposit, he nodded, and we bid adieu, hasta mańana….
As promised, bright and early in the morning, this diminutive little old man with caverns for a face was there waiting for us. He lit up with smiles you just had to return. I asked him if he was hungry and his smile said yes, so we got a couple of those delicious tamales the guy with the red holla sells and boy, were they delicious.
When paying the man at the ticket booth, the old man (Pablo) stood besides me and I knew why. So, I mentioned to the ticket office guy, that the little ol’gentleman at my side was an excellent salesman and that he/they should not only give him his commission but an excellent propina for his efforts. The ticket guys eyes looked up at me as he said, yes, Pablo his been with us for many years, as if he knew exactly what to do with Pablo….. who knows, maybe one day, you too will have the pleasure of running into one of Guanajuato's favorite son's called Pablo, when you least expect it....
The Guanajuato tour was not only great but also informative. We’ll talk about the notorious tunnels and other key tourist sights we enjoyed in “our” Guanajuato pleasure trip.
Attached is a photo of the El Insurgentes Hotel and from where the picture was taken stands the tour ticket office. The hotel is right in the heart of town, within in close walking distance anywhere in El Centro and came highly recommended as a locals and tourist favorite. It has 24/7 secured parking, elevators and dining. We paid $45 a night and it worked well for us.