So jumping off from Cuba to DF was a turning point. Up until now I have been in each city for no more than a few days each. Even on my domestic road trip.
Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Cancun, Mexico. San Juan, Puerto Rico. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Havana, Trinidad, Cuba. Mexico City, Mexico.
I had ten full days here. There were a lot of things different her than my previous destinations. Mexico is about 7,300 feet above sea level. There is no beach. The humidity is relatively low. It houses about 40 million people in the surrounding areas. There is a major subway. Describing this I can go a few steps further and describe it in relation to Los Angeles: The traffic is ridiculous. Most drivers drive like they’re looking forward to the afterlife. The smog is less than ideal. Tacos are abundant and cheap (about 10-15 pesos each). It is a collection of differing neighborhoods connected in a major metropolitan area. Everyone speaks Spanish and a little bit of English. The weather is schizophrenic and more warm than cold. Yep, just like LA.
DF has a lot to offer. I wasn’t able to do much of the tourist things like ruin tours or walking tours. A lot involved light shows or Spanish only information. Walking the streets was ideal. The areas I frequented, Roma Norte, La Condesa, Doctores, had more parks and shops and dogs and joggers than pairs of shoes I had in college. If you like to walk and explore DF is ideal (stick to the better barrios). You have seemingly endless options for drinks, food, and people watching.
Since I grew up in Orange County my diet contains a healthy amount of Mexican food (healthy may not be the most appropriate word). Tortas, tacos, and quesadillas were the norm. Walking around it is hard to miss street food. Be prepared to spend about 40-60 pesos for a few tacos or a couple quesadillas or a single massive torta. Add a soda or water for another 15. If you’re the type to use more waterless hand gel you may feel a bit uncomfortable with the conditions. They always smelled good. But I wonder if the standards are too high. Saying that I never felt ill or had any stomach issues. The food was always cooked right and delicious.
My main gripe with DF is the coffee. Why do the espressos suck? Why does a cup of coffee at 7-11 taste on the same level as a cup from a boutique cafe? A+ on the hipster unique and eclectic vibe. D- on the fresh grindz bro bro. I cant give it an F because Ive had worse coffee before. Im looking forward to coffee when I head to Medellin.
Journeying north there a many of sights to see. Museums, churches, architecture. All are in abundance. Mexico’s history follows a similar timeline with America. And a lot of the history goes back a few centuries. Its interesting to see another country’s take on their history and how outside forces (the US) affected them. Because I learned about it first in America I will arrogantly choose to believe what I learned in school. California always belonged to us. The Texas border was naturally ours. And we rightfully won the Alamo without a single casualty.
The architecture is pretty diverse. Lots of older buildings are surrounded by newer updated and newer dilapidated ones. An interesting note: There are almost no alleys in most neighborhoods. The homeless sleep on the street or maybe in the corners of parks. This may be a strategy to curb crime in the city as well. Fewer alleys and unlit areas for shady operations. Or it could be because the city needs every inch of real estate to accommodate the sheer number of people that walk the streets on the daily.