As always, the posts under the personal category are less about the nature of a nomadic life and more about keeping track of where I am and how I am doing. It has been 20 days since I arrived in Mexico City and I have not written a word about it apart from updating the map. I’m sorry for being so lax in keeping you up to date.
I spent my first few days in Mexico City locked away in a hotel room. I had a lot on my mind and I simply didn’t have the strength to face a new city, a language I couldn’t speak well and the daunting task of settling into a new country. So I hid.
Eventually, I got over myself and through a contact found a room to rent in La Condesa, a hip area in the centre of town. With a place to call my own, I felt braver and began going out. I found a couple of bars that I liked (despite my phone being stolen in one of them) and made a few friends. I’ve figured out how to use the public transport, I started shopping at the local supermarket and the money doesn’t look so strange to me anymore. With these small signs of progress, the feeling of being disconnected and lonely lifted.
Apart from settling into the city, I’ve been busy on two projects. The first is learning Spanish. My Spanish is very basic, and although I can get by, I simply must learn the language if I am to really enjoy my time here. My second project was to make this blog mobile-friendly. (If you spot any issues, please let me know.)
I haven’t done any sightseeing yet. Instead, I’ve simply wandered the streets, worked at cafes and chatted with the locals. There will be time to see the sights later. Simply living in this new city is exciting enough for now. So to wrap up this rambling post, here are a few early observations from Mexico City.
- The streets of Mexico City are lethal, but it has nothing to do with the drug war or the mad taxi drivers. No, the real danger you face here comes from the streets themselves. They resemble Swiss cheese in that they are full of holes, from manholes with no cover to potholes created during the big earthquake, 25 years ago.
- The police never ever turn off their police car emergency lights. And these are not your ordinary emergency lights either but rather a super-charged nuclear-powered blinding light that strips you of any night-vision you may have had. Thus blinded, you are easy prey for the ankle-snapping traps lining the streets. (See previous point.)
- Mexico City is the most food-oriented city I’ve ever visited. The vast majority of the street side shops are restaurants and cafés. But it is not enough that the first floor of every building is dedicated to food; the sidewalks are also full of taco stands. There are also roaming chefs on bicycles, selling food from big pots pulled on trailers after the bicycle. Before I sound too critical, let me say that I love the street side tacos. They are quick, cheap and delicious.