Friday, September 14, 2007

Maria's Beauty Shop

The shop sits on the corner of Orizaba and Refugio with big double doors open on Orizaba to catch the breeze from the North. It is tiled in white with heavy chrome beauty salon chairs upholstered in red. These chairs are from the 1950s. They line one side of the room.

For a while the shop was on my street just a few doors up the street from me. But about a month ago it moved to its new and prime location facing a busy street. While it was still on my street I had stopped in to have a pedicure late one afternoon. The young woman who gave me the pedicure couldn't speak English and so our conversation was limited because of my poor Spanish but I did find out that she was from the campo and that her father and brothers and one sister were in Mississippi working. She thought that she might go there someday too. Yesterday I stopped and made an appointment for today.

Today only Maria, the shop's owner, was working and so she did my pedicure. Maria lived in Los Angeles for a while and she spoke some English and I spoke some Spanish and so we had one of those weird conversations where both languages were mutilated but somehow we communicated. I'm not sure how long Maria lived in Los Angeles but her husband retired after working for one company for 40 years. She had worked in a beauty shop in the States and talked about beauty shops being licensed. I'm not sure what she did in the beauty shop but she has some experience. She is proud of her shop and told me that she brought the chairs for the shop from the United States.

Maria has seven children, six boys and one daughter. The daughter is a doctor with the Mexican social security system in San Miguel and she is what brought them to San Miguel to live. But as kids do, the daughter recently had to move to Leon for her job. One son was born in the United States and is in college in California. At this point, he doesn't want to live in Mexico. The other sons are scattered in Mexico and the United States. Maria and her husband live in our Colonia. I asked her if her husband was working here in Mexico and she said no, that now he was retired he like to read.....well who can't relate to that.

Maria asked me if I liked living in San Miguel and if I missed Texas. When I asked her the same questions, her answers were a little tentative. She said she had only been here for five months but she was getting use to it.

My friend Marcia walked by and stopped to talk while my toes were getting "done." Before I left, someone stopped in for a manicure and then someone else came in and asked Maria a question which I didn't understand, but he sat down to wait until she was through with the manicure. I think her shop is going to do okay.

I love using the shops and tiendas in our Colonia. I don't know of any other Colonia in San Miguel that has such a wonderful neighborhood feeling. Barber shop, paper store, tienda, restaurant, pizza shop, taco stands, internet cafes, bakery, tortilleros, meat markets.....they are all right here. And now a Beauty Salon.....right on the corner.


Keith and Mary and the kids said...

Hi neighbor!! wonderful hearing about your excursions and experiences as we are also getting settled!! Have a great fiesta weekend!!! Vive Mexico!
Mary at

Cynthia said...

I will try your neighborhood salon on my next trip down. San Antonio is a great area of San Miguel. When we were looking to buy, it was at the top my list. Unfortunately, the "right" house just wasn't on the market, so we ended up in another area, but I still love walking through the neighborhood and dropping into all the little places.

Brenda said...

We feel exactly the same way about our neighborhood. Isn't it great? Everything you need is in about a 4 or 5 blk. radius. We seldom really have to go into centro for much.