Sunday, November 10, 2013

My First Impressions of Mexico City

Ideally for my blog, I should write my first impressions of all the cities I have been to; but since I only write when I feel compelled to, I only write once in a while hehe.  So without further ado, here are my first impressions of Mexico City.

Architectures are awesome.  I guess architecture is really one thing that impresses me the most while traveling (this comes second to food).  The churches, government buildings or just random buildings are just BEAUTIFUL.  I find myself breathless when I enter a church.  I have been into approximately 30 churches in this trip and 80% of the time I am just shaking my head in disbelief of how beautiful the structures are.  It's like the artists gone crazy and art just exploded onto the walls.

Sometimes I see the buildings like they are superheroes.  They are so special and yet they are living and existing amongst normal buildings!  You will be walking through a random ally and BAM!  there's a beautiful building not even mentioned in any kind of guidebook.  I feel a little bitter when I walk around Mexico, especially when I see the churches.  It makes me really sad to remember and realize even more that Manila was indeed the 2nd most destroyed city in the world after WW2; otherwise, we would look just like Mexico.

Contradictions and mixing of opposing cultures.  You see sooo many churches but outside you will see people reading tarots or cleansing your aura among other stuff; or celebrating practices that are very non-Catholic, for instance Dia Delos Muertos.  Another example is that you'll see so many bridal shops around, especially near churches which shows the strong influence of the Catholic tradition but also nearby you will see adult shops that are open and not obscured. 

First World.  Third World.  Some things about Mexico make you feel like you're in a first world country.  Such as their super awesome intercity bus system, museums, and architectures--they are organized and well maintained; but also at the same time, there are parts that are so third world like pot holes in highways, noisy street vendors, local crazy buses, and sometimes inefficient store clerks.  The third world part I can most definitely relate to the Philippines lol.

Not a lot of beggars.  Mentioning above that it is a third world country, there really aren't a lot of beggars.  Kids who come near you are usually just selling you stuff.  People are just always selling things which is great!  I think I have seen more beggars in the US than I have here in Mexico.

Huge parks everywhere.  I love the abundance of parks around Mexico!  They are always clean, well lit and beautifully maintained. Sometimes I would just sit and watch people walk or sit around the park and once in a while shaking my head no to vendors trying to sell me stuff; I love how locals also utilize their parks, they would meet up or hangout there with family, friends, and lovers.  How I wish my lifestyle back in Manila includes "hanging around the park" and not worry about getting robbed or getting my clothes all dirty.

PDA or Public Display of Affection.  You will definitely see couples PDAing at the park; but the thing is, you see them EVERYWHERE!  I tell you, everywhere.  You will see a girl sitting on her bf's lap, you will see shameless necking, kissing, ass slapping, caressing, hugging, touching and some romantic lovin'.  

Foods look the same.  Yes, I do not speak Spanish and I do not always know how to read the menu, but so far, everything I have been eating looks the same!  They all look like tacos!  Meat on some kind of tortilla, sopa, bread, or taco. haha don't get me wrong, i love it!  they just look all the same to me. lol.

W.C. or toilets.  I appreciate very much the abundance of toilets around the cities.  When in need of a lavatory, just raise your head up and look for the WC signs and you're home free.  They are almost always clean and smell clean too.  They will provide you will tissue paper upon entering after you have paid the usual amount of MXN 5 (~PHP 20).  Sometimes if there is no attendant, the toilet is gated, like how it is in Metro stations, you drop a MXN5 in and you can go through the gate.

Gowns and costumes.  You could definitely tell that Mexicans love to dress up.  You'll see men in Mariachi clothes, women in gowns, or kids in costumes.  They seem to go hand in hand with celebrations and there are a lot of celebrations here in Mexico!  You will never be bored here.  Mexicans KNOW celebration.

Tourism.  There are definitely a lot of tourists in Mexico!  Why not?  This place is awesome!  But they have for sure, not reached their full potential yet.  You will notice that signs and captions in archaeological zones are usually only in Spanish and English.  Mostly the tourists here are from Europe and Latin American countries, I sometimes feel so out of place because most of the tourists speak Spanish.  Not much Asians (just mostly Japanese).  American tourists are scarce outside of Cancun (area), I guess it's all those negative propaganda in the US on how dangerous Mexico is and etc.  but the truth is, if you stay away from the borders (where the cartels are), it's very safe.  I have never feared for my safety in my 5 weeks here.

So many bookstores.  There are so many bookstores around here!!!  Both old and new, brand new or second hand books!  Not just books but magazines!  So much magazines too!!!  I guess Mexican people fond of reading.

Ridiculously difficult wifi password.  I don't get this at all! Almost all wifi passwords that I have to ask for are ridiculously long and difficult to remember!!!  Talk about security.  No one is ever going to be able to just guess what the wifi password is.  It is almost always alpha numeric and a dozen character long or something.  Crazy.

*These are just my observations and opinions based on my experience and no way saying my words are gospel.