Ever since I moved to Mexico City people from back home have always asked me to describe what it is about this place that made me move here, and the truth is that I don’t know. Something else I am not able to do very well is describe this city properly because there is so much in it, that trying to encapsulate all of that ins a single comment, or even blog post, may not be possible.
In reality I came here first to see my friend Rose Burillo who had just opened a restaurant in the city. After falling in love with the place I stayed, and the thing that I always tell people, is that it is a city with many surprises in store, and here are some examples of what I mean.
Lack of English
English speakers are often guilty of going abroad and not picking up the local lingo, but in our defense so much of the world speaks English that we very often don’t need the local lingo. Despite the heavy impact which the US has had on Mexico however, I found it really surprising just how few people speak English. This is not a criticism at all, just something which I found quite surprising.
Cost of Living
There are two points which I was surprised about when it comes to the cost of living. The first thing is that if you want it to be, the cost of living can be incredibly cheap and you can easily live, and live well on less than $10 per day, for everything. The other point to make here is that I was never aware of just how high the cost of living could be if you wanted it to be. Some of the apartments in Polanco for example can cost $2000 per month, and the fine dining and high end options in the city are there if you want them.
Warmth of the Locals
I have spent a lot of time in many of the world’s busiest cities and there is very rarely the warmth from people which I found in Mexico City. Usually there is such competition for everything that it is very much sharpen your elbows and do what you have to in order to survive. This is definitely the case on the roads in Mexico City, but it is not the case with the people who are warm and friendly and who will do whatever they can to make you feel comfortable.
Pockets of Culture
Something which you will find all across the city are these little pockets of culture which pop up. For example standing outside the national theater and listening to a hip hop cypher, or walking down a seemingly average street in the Roma neighborhood and getting hit by these huge and impressive art murals. It stands to reason that with so many people this would be the case, bu that doesn’t make these little pockets any less surprising.