I’m going to start this post with my thoughts from 1.5 weeks ago when I started my pre-trip blog, but never finished it:
“I’m unbelievably excited and ready to go to Mexico City. I leave this coming Friday, and I’m staying until June 1 at a minimum. I would say for the majority of trips and travels I go on, I don’t think or care much about it until I’m leaving or even there. I try to psyche myself up a week before to create an artificial thing to look forward to, but I’m normally content and focused on whatever project I’m working on. This time I’ve been on a daily countdown for over three weeks. I go to bed and wake up mentally chalking up one less day until I can leave. Coincidentally some logistical things around my life here have been frustrating issues like my washing machine breaking, my windows being damaged such that I can’t stop the noise/light/dust pollution from coming inside, and an expensive shipment of clothes that got “delivered” but somehow I’m getting conned by either the UPS driver or the guy that runs my mailbox service. I’m missing several hundred dollars worth of new t-shirts that I was excited to upgrade my daily life with, but no one wants to claim responsibility for a package that was said to be delivered and signed, but no one has it. This category of annoying things right now alternates between extremely irritating, but then something I’m ok with ignoring. It’s like getting beat up in prison a week before you’re being let out; it sucks at the moment, but you know life will be good soon if you stay composed.
I’ve been on Reddit, Google, watching YouTube videos, and getting far too many internet strangers’ opinions about Mexico City before I go myself. I’m already locked in, with a seemingly very nice place in one of the best neighborhoods (La Condesa), but I want to be able to dive into first-world amenities immediately. It’s been hard here to get random things like casual healthy food, massages, and trustworthy laundry service/house cleaning. I’ve done all kinds of ridiculously excessive things around the world and have had surreal experiences that felt like they belonged in a movie, but as I’ve grown to understand myself I care about very simple things. A clean and uncluttered living/working space, quality food/coffee, a good place to exercise, peaceful nature, and good people to be around.”
(Now present day in Mexico City)
I’m currently sitting in Efimero Cafe in Condesa, living the fantasy from my previous weeks. It is a pretty idyllic warm and sunny day, and I’m overlooking a tree-lined street. It’s a Paris side street or summer SoHo in New York vibe.
My annoyances and grievances with Puerto Rico are long past me, as all thoughts and problems disappear into the void eventually. I read some quote from one of my favorite books, “Meditations” by Marcus Auerlius, paraphrased as “don’t become upset when a malicious/annoying/etc. person/institution acts out in that way to you. You already knew they were that way, and you know these beahaviours exist in the world, so becoming upset by what you should already expect is nonsensical.”
After being so amped up to come to Mexico City with no previous experience, I was pretty worried when I landed. What if it was “just ok”? There was also the possibility of some random dealbreaker thing (mega pollution, safety, etc.) that I hadn’t thought enough about. I’m pleased to admit that it’s met and even surpassed my extremely high expectations. It’s so much cleaner and green than I thought, my neighborhood is very peaceful and quiet, and there really are virtually unlimited amazing restaurants and cafes. The only place I’ve eaten at twice is a breakfast place downstairs from our apartment, and that’s because I prefer a simple healthy and convenient breakfast. I’ve also moved from my shoddy apartment in PR to something like a Vegas Suite for similar money. Three times-a-week maid service, doorman, three bedrooms/three bathrooms, large showers with tons of hot water and pressure, custom closets, a balcony plus private terrace, and nice finishes.
I forget that a huge amount of people who haven’t been here from the US have some thought that Mexico City is a sweltering hot slum where there’s cartel guys rolling around waiting to kidnap you if you let your guard down for a moment. In the neighborhoods I’ve been to; Condesa, Roma, and Polanco (and there are many other nice ones, but I’ve only been here for a few days), it feels as safe if not safer than major US cities. I talked with a girl at a coffee shop next to me who randomly turned out to also be from Michigan originally, and she said she feels just as safe here as living back in Michigan. My area has many solo females from the US/Europe walking around at night, and I would recommend anyone who is nervous about visiting CDMX (Ciudad De Mexico) to look at a walking tour of Condessa/Polanco and be amazed at how nice it is.
This is the start of my first official week, and after hardcore touring on the weekend, I’m in hardcore settling in mode. Trying a gym that I hope will become the one I use tonight, I bought groceries (Green Corner is a five star store for me) and made breakfast/lunch at home today (restaurants here are amazing, but I’m still a fan of cooking a good percentage of my meals at home with simple premium ingredients), worked on my stock trading algorithms during market hours, and finishing this blog now before the gym. I’m also doing my regular Spanish lesson online, and starting to do a bit more Duolingo. For better and worse you do need to learn Spanish if you are here for an extended period. It’s pretty rewarding as you get better though. Here’s a guide I’m loosely following to learn Spanish:
With that I’m going to do a bit of reading and prepare for the new gym trial. Leaving you with a few pics from here. Will be back here with another post to update about life in Mexico City eventually!