Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Remembering: Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City)

Cathedral
 You may have read about my first impressions of Mexico City where I used the word "overwhelming". It was. Still is, even now, thinking back to my week I spent there. My friend S., with whom I spent my days in Mexico (I traveled on my own in Costa Rica and met with S. in Mexico), kept saying to everybody who wanted to listen: Mexico City is the greatest city in the world.

Greatest city in the world?
Well, no, honestly, it's not the greatest city in the world.
Not for me.
It's an amazing city. A surprising city. But not the greatest. By far not the greatest, in my opinion.
I could compare Mexico City to other cities I visited but I'd never do that. It's not fair. One place cannot be compared to another.
I could enlist cities with better museums, more beautiful architecture, etc. I won't do that either. Not fair either.

What doesn't make it the greatest city in the world for me is ... its energy. It's difficult to describe and it took me a while to get it. First I thought it was because it's a huge city (23 million people live there - 23! imagine!). But then I had loved New York (but not Hong Kong) so it's not about the crowd or the traffic. In the end, I discovered that what I didn't like was:
a) the smog. The air was terrible and I had nosebleeds while there. I never have nosebleeds!! Never ever! Imagine what the air that I breathed was like to make my nose bleed! And please don't get me started on the water...
b) the police and the military standing on every corner (at every entrance). Having guns pointed at you is not a nice thing, let me assure you! (they keep their guns pointed at people all the time)
c) the way men kept staring at us and that they need to have extra cars in the metro where only women are allowed. I didn't like that several men got into these "women only" cars anyway because (I suppose) these ones were less crowded than the other cars. I didn't like THAT at all. No respect. Nevertheless, I have to say, I never felt unsure (but then, we spent our evenings in the hotel). It's just that their stares felt creepy...
d) the food. Nothing new here - Mexican food is still not my favorite and if the food isn't fresh and organic like in the places I visited two years ago? Impossible to love it.


To be fair though, I want to point out some things that I loved because there were things that I loved!
I loved the Murales of Diego Rivera.
I loved the architecture.
I loved their history.
I loved the people (even if they need to work on their macho behavior hahaha)
I absolutely loved the nieves.
Ah yes, the nieves! It's some kind of sorbet but not sorbet (no dairy products in there). I can't find adequate words to describe how delicious it was!

One thing is for sure though. Mexico City doesn't leave anybody unaffected! Are you planing a Mexico trip and hesitate now because you just read my words?
Don't hesitate. Go. Go and see for yourself. Don't listen to me and my "it's all about energy" gibberish! My friend still thinks it's the greatest city in the world!
In the end, traveling is about listening to others and doing what you want anyway!

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