I am kind of person who falls in love very easy. Especially with the cities. Usually, when I come back from the trip I say “I want to live there!”. I am sorry to say that Mexico City and I didn’t have any chemistry. I don’t want to say that my stay in Mexico City was not nice or anything like that, but it is definitely not a place where I see myself. I cannot say that the city blew me off my feet or that I would like to visit again. Here are the reasons why I do not like Mexico City.
Jaime scared me too much
Even before I came, he scared me I need to be very careful, that people are dangerous and they will try to rob me, that I cannot go to lots of places, that he doesn’t want me to go even to the markets alone etc. I started to panic without a reason. But the fact is the city is not safe and you need to take care of your belongings and yourself all the time.
Mexico City is too big
Mexico City with its metropolitan area is one of the biggest cities in the world. I knew it was big, I knew there lived around 23 million people, but I didn’t know it was that big! It is huge, enormous, ridiculous. Where ever you go, you need lots of time. If something seems to be close – it is not. And so on. You spend more time in going somewhere that you actually spend there.
Too many people
Huge city = too many people. I think I never saw that many people in my whole life as there in one afternoon. Or in one metro train. Or bus. Well, you get the point. Everything and everywhere is crowded, all the time. Morning rush, afternoon rush, evening rush.
Too much traffic
Lots of people mean lots of cars too. You can never know how long it is going to take to get somewhere. We were more than hour late from our trip to Oaxaca because of traffic on the highway. Also, after one afternoon ride in the taxi, I sent a message to my mom that she cannot say ever again we can’t go to the city center in Zagreb because of traffic. Because we have no traffic jams. If you want to know what traffic jam is, go to Mexico City.
I remember one time I asked Jaime why he is going to work so early if he arrives earlier every day. “If I go now, there is 10 million people in the public transportation. If I go 15 minutes later, there will be 15 million.” Ok. Besides that, they have no schedule, so you can expect the train or bus when you see it.
Canalization in the city is terrible. For the beginning, you cannot throw any toilet paper in the toilet because you can clog everything. But outside, on the street, the canalization is even worse. When is raining, half of the city is flooded. Canalization cannot take the water even during the light rain what can be extremely dangerous, especially on the highway.
Holes in the ground
When you walk around the city, you need to be very careful and look where you step because Mexico City is full of holes. Little ones, big ones, really dangerous ones. If you don’t look where you walk, you can easily break your leg.
Water is not drinkable
You need to buy water or purifier and I come from the country which exports water. It was very easy to forget I cannot use the water so I made soup with it few times, drunk a bit and so on. Luckily, I didn’t poison myself.
The weather was terrible when I was there. The first time was hot and extremely humid, thanks to what you wake up completely wet during the night. The second time it was raining every single day and it was cold so I was dressed totally inappropriate.
10. No English
They (mostly) speak no English! Tourist workers, service personnel in the restaurants, taxi drivers, museum personnel, … No English. Sometimes not even a word. In my opinion, everybody who has a position like that should speak at least English, if not more languages.
Police are everywhere. You may think that is good and it makes you feel safe, but for me was completely opposite. Why does police officer need to be in every bus station? Why are some metro stations labeled as “safe stations” and others are not? Why there is a guy with the machine gun in front of the mall? Why traffic police wears vests? How dangerous this city is…?
Everybody was staring at me
I thought a tourist in such a big city is going to be the normal thing. But everybody was looking – not looking, staring – at me wherever I went. Ok, I know I am super white, almost blond and taller than 99% of Mexicans, but do you really need to stare so much that I felt uncomfortable? Not nice.
Written August 2014 (In the meantime I discovered Mexico City is not sooo unpleasant as I thought in the beginning. I still feel uncomfortable about these things. However, I will be writing a new series of posts about Mexico soon.)
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