If you ask Ukrainian how is it like to live in Ukraine or American about life in America – you will get a pretty good story from the people who were raised and born there. If you ask a Mexican about life in Mexico – you may hear different things from what you use to read in the books or articles. But what if you ask Ukrainian how is it like to live in Mexico? And even though now I spend less time in Mexico City as I used to, I still may have something to tell you.
My first time in Mexico City was in spring of 2013. I had 2 amazing weeks of spring brake surrounded by new country with new culture, different lifestyle and habits. I was impressed by everything I saw and everyone I met. Somehow my Spanish didn’t work out as good as I expected, so thank God smiley girls with big curious eyes are always in fashion. Oh, nodding also helped.)) So good translator was a plus for me. Many people speak English, but let’s be honest – if you study Spanish in the university, you want to shine. =)) So at that time my first impressions were everything I could share.
Shortly after that trip I moved to Mexico City. It was perfect time for exploring, observing and draw conclusions. But with time I understood that every time I come back – something new comes out. Mexico City is like an endless book for me: once I think I read the last page of it – something undiscovered, more exciting, comes out. So let me mention just few things that come to my mind when I think about life in Mexico City:
Why? What is that special about them? Well, they are special. The first minute you come to the city and until the last day you stay – you are a friend. Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world, and even though: no matter where you come from, what is the color of your skin or the language you speak, you are always met as a friend. After all “A place is only as good as the people in it”.
Mexican culture is one of the most unique cultures in the world. It contains a lot of the features that you can find in the books as well as facts that nobody talks about. For example, I was shocked to figure out that Mexicans are loud. At the beginning I was like: why do people shout so much? What is going on? Well-known fact is that tortilla for Mexican is like bread for European. I was very surprised by the amount of tortillas people eat. You can find them everywhere – from the poor neighborhood to corner cafes in the center next to museums and theatres. If I had to name one feature inherent to all Mexicans – that would be pride. They are extremely proud of being who they are and their culture. Go to the market, talk to people on the streets, celebrities or those who left Mexico long time ago – you will notice it.
How to fit yourself into it? I started being as annoying as I could be – I asked questions. It never hurts to ask, right?
– The size of the city
Everyone remembers donkey from the Shrek cartoon asking “Are we there yet?” Well, believe it or not, I was in his shoes. Mexico City is enormous. You may want to use metro as an option to avoid traffic. Just keep in mind that metro system in Mexico city is the largest in Latin America and wake up early and move fast if you have to get to somewhere on time.
As I mentioned before – food is a must try in Mexico City. It’s cheap, rich in flavors and absolutely yummy. And don’t forget to finish your day with a good dessert. For me sweet and spicy food still tastes weird, but I am a fan of churros and cakes. So you will find something unique for your taste buds to cheer.;)
– Cost of life
The impression about prices in Mexico City depends on the people that you talk to. You hear that it is cheap from the reviews and stories of those who come for vacations. The truth of the people that live in Mexico City may be very different. Mexico City can be very expensive or generously cheap. It depends on your likings as well as your income. The cost of rent depends on how close you are from the center. In general, Mexico City is generous and cheap when it comes to prices for food, transportation and entertaining.
If you think that Mexico City is nothing but people selling drugs and running all over the city with guns – you are wrong. Whenever I go – I feel safe. But as in any other big city, you can find areas you may want to stay away from. I do trust real people, but not rumors or stereotypes when it comes to my safety. So the best you can do is ask the locals.
Start with the markets if you need really good food. Walmart and other groceries stores are good, but farmers markets have a lot of fresh and cheaper things to offer. Malls of Mexico City offer you a lot of brands from Europe as well as American ones. So I am always excited when it comes to shopping in Mexico City))
Mexico City has a lot to offer when it comes to after-dark entertainment. Any kind of bar or restaurant you have in mind is already there. Most of the places are open until 3-4 a.m., since Mexicans really know how to party. So it is very hard to get bored. Whether you are going for dinner or just for a drink – you are going end up dancing. Therefore – comfortable shoes, always comfortable shoes. Because no matter where you are going next – you may need that legs!
I can talk about Mexico City again and again, but your own eyes will tell you way more than any person in the world!