Our Introduction to Mexico in Mexico City

Ay, La Ciudad De Mexico! Mexico City! Where to begin? This was the start to our abroad travel in our long-term journey, and with it came a lot of uncertainty and novelty, seeing the Mexican culture in this country unfold in front of us initially. Prior to our arrival, most people we know had little to say to us about Mexico unless they’d visited on vacation and stayed on a resort primarily, if not for their entire trip, or worriedly shared their fears about us staying safe, presuming what most Americans think, that all of Mexico is unsafe and full of drug crime and violence (which by the way, is not true). We did encounter a few who had traveled outside of resorts share with us their experiences and recommendations, which was very helpful. Overall, it felt like we were treading into new territory here, which was exciting and a bit unnerving for me at the same time. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, was open to the experience, and hoped for the best!

Initially, we took an Uber from the airport to our 12th-story studio apartment, where we stayed for a week, which was spacious and comfortable with an amazing view of Alameda Central, the oldest municipal park in Mexico City, located in the midst and at the edge of Centro Historico, the historic, central neighborhood of Mexico City. We could see the street that led to the Zocalo, or main square, the Benito Juarez monument, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and the street and pedestrian traffic below; it was so cool to see this area lit up at night! On our Uber ride to our place, it was a bit of a culture shock to see the traffic and chaotic driving, vendors walking in-between cars on the streets when cars were stopped at lights to sell gum, beverages, and wipe windshields, and take in all of the written signage and spoken Spanish language surrounding us. It was a challenge to try to quickly comprehend and bring ourselves to sheepishly, uncertainly utter out the words we could recollect from our Spanish classes many years ago in school to transact getting past the doorman at our building to gain access to our apartment and ordering our food for dinner; I selected a couple of nearby taco places I pointed out in a tourist booklet left in our apartment by our host within a few blocks of our place out of convenience. We walked a couple of square blocks around our place to locate them and pick one. I felt so uncomfortable walking around at first because of all of the caution I’ve always been bombarded with about Mexico as a whole and traveling in bigger cities, wherever they are in the world. Many of the buildings, streets, and signage would all indicate in the U.S. that the neighborhood is run-down and thus likely unsafe, but here, it took time to convince myself otherwise, that it is just not developed to the same standard as the U.S. in this regard. I focused on my observations that there were women and children walking around and that there were a lot of people out and about. This area is apparently the more touristy area of Mexico City, although we can’t recall engaging in or overhearing any conversations in English, so we concluded most tourists must have been from other parts of Mexico, International, or if from the US, they must have spoken fluent Spanish.

I remember walking around, seeing the neighborhood shops south of our apartment building for the first time, feeling uncomfortable like we really stood out and people were taking notice. I’m not sure how much of that is actually true and how much of it was my paranoid perception, as I didn’t bother to look around much and kept my head down and eyes to the ground for most of the time we walked, rarely making eye contact with anyone. (Aaron’s perception was that no one seemed to care about us at all, for the most part). We passed through a district with mechanical, bathroom, and lighting supplies first (it seems most of the businesses in Mexico City are laid out in this fashion, in an area based on similarity to what is being sold). After eating our first meal, we ventured out to the grocery store, which required us to walk about 20 minutes there. Aaron scoped it out and navigated while I followed, reluctantly, wanting to quickly be done with it and back to our place securely for the night. I wouldn’t say I ever felt 100% comfortable in Mexico City, but as I got more familiar with the surrounding area and we explored throughout the week we were there, I opened myself up to experiencing it more and even ventured out many blocks to a couple of fitness classes, a cafe, and an eatery on my own! I also gradually began making small talk with the 24/7 doormen at the front desk, offering a statement about what I had just done or was about to do in addition to greeting them with, “Buenos dias/tardes/noches” depending on the time of day, which is, “Good morning/afternoon/evening”. I’m not sure if they appreciated it, thought I was silly, or a little of both. 🙂

We discovered that most people work, recreate, and/or participate in civic life in the area we stayed in and that few people also live there. There have been recent projects to revitalize the area as living space also, of which our apartment building was a prime example.

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The exterior view of our building on Avenue Juarez

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Interesting and discreet setup for drying dishes above the sink, which I’d never encountered before. It worked out well!
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Our studio apartment was a nice, comfortable haven from the hustle and bustle constantly going on below us all day and night. However, the one peril was the “torture shower” as we started calling it, where the water would alternate between freezing cold and scalding hot!
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We took advantage of the gym in our apartment building that we had to ourselves for most of days we used it!
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Our view from up above of the Benito Juarez monument, Palacio de Bellas Artes, and a major street, almost always filled with people, leading to the Zocalo

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Apparently we did not take any photos of the first tacos (of many) we ate in Mexico City! But we did take a pic of our ceviche during our first meal at Fullenio’s Taco Fish!
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Our first round of groceries from Chedraui, a large grocery store chain in a neighborhood within walking distance from where we stayed. We tried tamarind for the first time and some fruit that looks like a kiwi but is larger and a bit tougher to consume. Grocery shopping is an event when doing it in another country for the first time! Figuring out where it is, then what to buy that are the best choices (for us, healthier options mostly, besides pan dulce, which is sweet bread, of course)!
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Pan dulce from the grocery store, which has an entire section dedicated to it to choose from! We quickly learned that the appropriate process to make selections in-store is to grab a metal tray and tongs, choose, and take them to the counter in that same area of the store to get them weighed and priced to later take to the main registers in the store to pay for them. Some pan dulce is too dry for my taste, others are nice and moist! Some are too sweet and others are just right. I prefer slightly sweetened bread for the most part.
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This pan dulce, a type of Pan De Elote, is one of my favorites! It kind of reminds me of the texture of cheesecake filling on the inside.
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We stocked up on water (because tap water is not drinkable in Mexico).
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There was someone stationed outside of our apartment cranking this instrument to play it pretty much around the clock. It sort of sounds like a flute. It was charming at first but over time, it got old, LOL. Nonetheless, we’ll remember it as a sound of our stay in Mexico City. This can be seen and heard at many spots throughout this area of Mexico City, and there is usually someone else standing nearby with an outstretched arm holding a hat soliciting donations, if not the person playing.

According to Lonely Planet20 million people live in Mexico City, and there are 16 delegaciones, or boroughs, which are subdivided into 1,800 colonias, or neighborhoods. The Mexico Tourism Board states that Mexico City has more museums than any other city in the world (over 140), though I am not much of a museum person (Aaron is, so we try to find a balance in our travels, visiting some). Needless to say, these stats are overwhelming when thinking about where to go and what to do within Mexico City, and absolutely impossible to cover in a week-and-a-half of time, and we didn’t try to. We fully recognized this at the onset and instead of “checking the boxes”, or quickly visiting the most well-known sites just to say we did and take our photos to prove it (which this is not our travel style anyhow), we decided to do some research to figure out what our top wish list items were, and then discuss. We read about the most popular neighborhoods for travelers to visit and what they have to offer and decided to check out a handful of them, mostly the ones surrounding where our accommodations were, and thus the most accessible to us. As typically is the case for us in most places we visit, our top priority is to walk around and see what we see, and also scope out some desirable dining options in advance. Rather than giving you the sequential day-by-day of our experiences in Mexico City, I’ll categorize by themes, or types of experiences.

Culinary Experiences:

First and foremost, FOOD. While we had some good dining experiences and especially enjoyed some dishes we ate, we wouldn’t say we were “WOW-ed” by more than a few dishes. There certainly was novelty in some of what we tried for the first time though. We had heard that Mexico City is a culinary capital for not just Mexican, but International, cuisine, and that may be the case at some higher-end restaurants (a couple of which we experienced and enjoyed). Most of the tacos we ate were good, but not great, nothing to write home about (although I suppose in writing this post, I am writing home about it after all)! We ventured out to eat some street tacos and corn, and especially in these cases, it’s unfortunate they weren’t the best food we’ve ever eaten, because we’re pretty sure that’s where our consistent, week-and-a-half-long, explosive, uncontrollable traveller’s diarrhea came from that followed within a few days! Yes, more on that later. Real life on the road in a country where our bodies aren’t used to the bacteria in the food (and not necessarily bad bacteria, it could be just different, or of course it could be bad bacteria from food sitting out too long or not being handled properly). This is also known as “Montezuma’s revenge” in Mexico and Central America. For our first couple of weeks in Mexico, actually, until we talked to our friends who live in Queretero, Jamie and Fabian, we mostly avoided raw produce that wasn’t peeled or cooked (because the concern is not knowing if it was washed, or if it was cleaned properly with bottled water or tap water that has been treated with a special solution to make the water safe for consumption), and we still got it! Jamie’s theory is that it’s something in the meat that’s different rather than the water or produce. In any case, there was a short time where we thought we might not have gotten it, but alas, despite our attempts to avoid it, it happened anyway. We’ve chalked it up to being part of the long-term, abroad travel experience, LOL!

And on that note, here are photos of some of our culinary experiences!

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Fish and shrimp tacos (I was brave on these and went for the raw cabbage topping) from El Pescadito near Alameda Central. They always came fried when I ordered them and at this particular place, there was a topping bar to add whatever we wanted from it (I like to overload mine, as you can probably tell, and they almost always fall apart as a result; it probably doesn’t help that each taco usually comes with two tortillas and I choose to only consume one)!
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Aaron’s Marlin, which is a type of fish that to us, tastes a bit like ham, at El Pescadito! He doesn’t get as into the toppings as I do normally, but he was also being super cautious at first. Tip if you choose to eat here: You order your food with the cooks first, then you tell the employee by the register what you ordered and what drinks you want, then they bring them to you and you get your check, or “la cuenta”, later when you ask for it.
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We peeled, chopped, and roasted our own vegetables one night. We enjoy the luxury of being able to cook for ourselves when we are staying in a place with a kitchen. The ability to prepare our own food is a rarity when living life on the road and is even then limited to the cooking methods and supplies around us; we appreciate it when it’s possible and we’re in the mood to do it! It’s a little piece of our every day lives back at home, where we plan out most of our weekly meals to prepare and cook at home and are health-conscious, which is another luxury that is a huge challenge to maintain while on the road!
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Chicharrones (fried pork rinds) in the lower left and cactus in the center, both of which I believe I ate for the first time here at a restaurant in the La Condesa neighborhood the first time we visited it while in Mexico City. Also, I’m not sure which part of the pig the meat to the right came from (our server was so kind as to bring a few options to see and taste though, as I wasn’t comprehending verbally what she was explaining to me that they were). Whatever it was, it was tender and tasty!
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Street tacos at Plaza de la Solidaridad, which is filled with street vendors on the weekends, adjacent to Alameda Central
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My street taco, topped with some kind of potato mixture
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Aaron’s street taco (we’re not really sure what green mixture it’s topped with — cactus or green beans?)
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Street corn among the many vendors at Plaza de la Solidaridad. The most common type of street corn to find is Elota, which is corn on the cob usually covered in mayo, cheese, and cilantro. I thought that was what I had asked for here when I pointed to a plain corn on the cob on display, but it wasn’t. 🙂 But, I’m glad I tried something new, as I had tried Elota once in Sacramento before at a public block party within months of leaving for our long-term travel journey (it tasted awesome)!
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Unfortunately, my corn on the cob was not very good, as it was too burnt and not very warm. However, the fresh lime and powdered seasoning smothered all over it was very good (and messy)!
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Tortilla soup, rather than chicken tortilla soup, we’ve found is more common. It’s topped with cheese, chicharrones, avocado, and finely chopped champulines (grasshoppers), which are very salty and I actually kinda like them!
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My first time eating pozole at La Casa De Los Abuelos in Colonia Juarez, a neighborhood in Mexico City. The accouterments were quite the presentation, but I think were needed to spruce things up a bit, as it tasted pretty bland (perhaps it’s the hominy).
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Chiles en nogada, a classic Mexican dish served in honor of Independence Day on September 16th, resembles the colors of the Mexican flag. It is typically served seasonally in Mexico from August through October. The sauce, traditionally walnut-based, covers a stuffed, poblano chili with pomegranate and cilantro sprinkled over the top. We noticed various restaurants offer different variations for the nuts used in the sauce, what type of meat or fish the pepper is stuffed with and how it’s prepared, the size of the pepper and its contents, and the way its toppings are aesthetically arranged. I loved that this particular sauce had a sweeter flavor to it! This one was enjoyed at La Casa De Los Abuelos.
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Another chiles en nogada variation, this time with a fried fish on the inside, from Angelopolitano in La Condesa. I enjoyed the first several bites, but it tasted too salty to me after that and was an overwhelmingly large portion!
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Guacamole served with chicharrones and chopped champulines at Angelopolitano! Mmm!
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Aaron’s mole (and my first taste of it ever — I LOVED the chocolatey-ness of this one) at Angelopolitano!
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Fancy ceviche from Azul in the La Condesa neighborhood
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Sopa de tortilla Oaxaquena from Azul
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Caldo tlalpeno from Azul
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Nicuatole Zapoteco for dessert at Azul (which I’m glad I tried because it was different than what I would normally choose and seemingly authentic, but I wished I had gotten something chocolate or at least had it topped with chocolate sauce). It’s flan made of corn topped with whipped cream and some kind of fruit sauce (plum?)
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Mercado Roma is a foodie market in the midst of the North Roma neighborhood.
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My ceviche tostadas from a food stand within Mercado Roma, which ended up looking a lot like a sashimi appetizer dish (I’ve noticed ceviche here is not always white fish or shrimp marinated in lime); they were delicious!
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Aaron’s enchaladas verde at Mercado Roma, which Aaron would like to write home about! It was one of his favorite dishes he ate in Mexico City.
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A visit to this culinary market would not be complete without a little dessert! Our backs were to this display as we ate our lunch; how could we not partake? 😉
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A seafood pasta I ordered for dinner one night at an Italian restaurant in La Condesa recommended to us by our AirBnB host, La Casa D’Italia. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, as I was at a point where I was seeking something other than traditional Mexican food.

Cultural Experiences:

La Casa Azul (former home of famous Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, and her husband, famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera)

This museum in the Colonia Del Carmen neighborhood was an educational, artistic highlight for me, as I had never heard of either artist prior to this place being recommended to me to visit, and they are both renowned and revered in Mexico (they are even printed on the 500-peso bill). In the various states and cities we’ve visited in Mexico since, we’ve seen purses, shirts, earrings, and more for sale featuring Frida’s face on them. For someone who isn’t typically interested in museums, I was truly engaged and fascinated in this one!

We stood outside in a long line in the rain for about half an hour to enter (Tip: Purchase tickets online in advance, get there soon after they open, or bring an umbrella if rain is a possibility in the forecast). I bought the extra ticket to have the ability to take photos throughout the museum, and I’m so glad I did so I can look back through them in the years to come and also share some of them with you here!

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I usually become grumpy when I get rained on, especially when I’m not prepared for it; however, I just recognized there was nothing I could do about it and it’s part of the experience while standing in my tank top and pants. My travel self has become more patient and works through dealing with things I don’t like better. I felt a bit cool, but the thing about rain in Mexico City is that it usually passes through fairly quickly, and it happens when the weather is perfectly sunny, partly cloudy, or overcast that same day (unlike the California rain I’m used to that only happens when the weather is cold, by my standards, not East Coast cold).

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This was to symbolize her womb; as a woman who wanted to bear children but could not, she expressed her sorrow through focusing on it in many of her paintings.
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Apparently she painted this one soon before she passed away.
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A Diego Rivera painting

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The kitchen, where they apparently liked to cook together and there is a recipe for Frida’s Mole posted!
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Frida’s work area, which is left in tact from her last use of it
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View of part of the house from the backyard, which now has a gift shop, quotes from Frida and Diego, and artwork displays featuring other artists
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Frida dealt with many hardships throughout her life due to her health. She contracted polio as a child and was in a severe bus accident as a teenager. Her right leg was eventually amputated at the knee due to gangrene near the end of her life. These are medical aids she wore and used. She often decorated her mid-section casts.
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Frida and Diego seemed to have a tumultuous and dramatic relationship from what we can gather! They both had affairs over the years, but the worst was that he cheated on her with her own sister! They were divorced for two years but got back together after that. For as much as they are publicly revered as a couple, it’s wild when considering the reality of their relationship, which seemed to cause her much heartache!

We watched the movie, Frida, after visiting the museum. It was neat to see her story unfold after visiting her former home; we recognized some of the footage from La Casa Azul.

The Ballet Folklorico De Mexico performance at the Palacio De Bellas Artes was absolutely a highlight for us! I danced in Ballet Folklorico for about a year back in high school, and Mexican music has always been something I’ve enjoyed, so this was on the top of my list of things to do in Mexico City. Being on a budget as long-term backpackers, tickets were a bit of a splurge for us, but worth it! The photos do not do it justice!

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Wandering Around:

Our first wander walk was to check out the Zocalo and Alameda Central, the park in front of our apartment building.

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Our walk to the Zocalo on a Saturday; it was a packed street pretty much the whole way there!
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I was really amused by the green light walking dude; the placement of the lights where his legs are changed so it made it look like he was actually walking! This makes our U.S. light signs for walking look boring!
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Busy day at the Zocalo (there’s some event in those tents and the Metropolitan Cathedral of the City of Mexico is in the background)
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Mexican government buildings at the Zocalo
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The National Palace, which is a Mexican government building that houses an office for the Mexican President and also contains Diego Rivera murals.
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Alameda Central, which I think is the loveliest and most well-maintained of the parks we visited in Mexico City
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More of Alameda Central during our initial weekend in Mexico City (it was noticeably more crowded on the weekends than during the week)
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I was loving the purple plants!

We ventured out further throughout the city on our first Sunday in Mexico City after being awoken in the morning by lively music and an MC on the streets below. Apparently there was an official run/walk going on, but a main street also is blocked off to vehicle traffic on Sunday mornings and there are many bikers who come out! Below is much of what we stumbled upon during our long exploration starting down Avenue Juarez, which turns into Paseo De La Reforma street, a main drag of the city.

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Aaron loved this sculpture, and this photo also depicts the random shoe-shining stations sprinkled throughout the city.
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Many street vendors lined up in Chapultepec Park (I got a “henna” tattoo at one of the booths and watched a little girl get her face painted like a princess with glitter and colorful swirls)!

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Chapultepec Park

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Lunch break in La Condesa

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This is one of Aaron’s favorite photos from our entire travels thus far. It was taken either in Parque Espana or Parque Mexico in the La Condesa neighborhood.
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Again, either of the two parks in La Condesa. We noticed lots of people bring their dogs here and there are vendors in the park who cater to that.
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Real life in the park: Not all of it is beautiful, but it’s being addressed and is in the process of being refurbished.
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But also real life in the park: Isn’t this picturesque?!
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You know I appreciate the outdoor fitness equipment in the park! There are actually quite a few parks in Mexico City that have this setup; some are nicer and more functional than others.

My first solo experience in Mexico City was on an early evening. I nervously ventured out on my own down Luis Moya street within a mile from our apartment to a cafe I had scoped out ahead of time online. I had been cautioned by well-intentioned friends and family to not go out alone as a woman (that in a large city of a foreign country where we stand out as tourists it is not a good idea, especially where it may not be perceived as safe). I openly admit that these pre-conceived notions caused my guard to be up high, and I was actually scared to do it, but I did it, being the brave long-term traveler I’ve set out to be, and nothing bad happened.

Still new in my recollection of Spanish, and timidly embarrassed to utter what I could to try to get transactions completed, I asked for, “Cafe con leche”, which is literally, “Coffee with milk”. However, I intended to describe a latte, and I happily received a latte (though as our travels have continued, I’ve noticed it’s a hit or miss when asking for cafe con leche, as sometimes, I’ll get coffee with some milk in it). In this case, I felt too shy to try to ask for a menu and just asked for what I had come for, and it worked out. I sat down at a table to enjoy my latte with a small chocolate cookie I had picked out at a restaurant with a bakery case display up front within a couple of blocks from our place.

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My first latte in Mexico at Gradios Deli Cafe!

Still in my at-home practice, I texted and mindlessly checked my phone apps, though I was mindful at some point to knock that off and take in my surroundings (this is a habit I have been determined to break in our travels and have been overall successful with). As I mentioned at the onset of this post, something about Mexico City, and I’ve realized in other parts of Mexico we’ve visited so far, is that notions about what makes you feel safe by U.S. standards can be much different here. For example, check out my view from sitting in this cafe. Grafitti and run-down streets are usually an indication of somewhere you don’t want to be. Uncomfortable as I was here because I had ventured out on my own for the first time, I reminded myself of that and intentionally took this photo to be able to share it and make this point.

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During my walk, I noticed a fitness studio, Axkan Centro Fitness, and wandered upstairs to inquire about their schedule of classes. It was here I initially got the most practice immersing myself into the Spanish language in a more lengthy transactional discussion. I was excited to learn about the offerings and returned for 2 classes, Yoga and Zumba®, in our remaining time at our nearby apartment. I looked forward to seeing the front desk lady’s familiar face and conversing with her upon my return, confirming more information about the class schedule and pricing, and both the instructors and students were all kind towards me and we conversed briefly. Both classes were great immersion experiences for me to listen to and comprehend instructions in Spanish. Sadly, the Twerk class, which I was encouraged to take by multiple friends on Facebook when I posted a photo of the flyers on the wall below, started the following week, so I didn’t have an opportunity to take it (anyone who subsequently visits Mexico City, please do and tell me all about your experience)! 😉

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Wera’s Zumba class was my first in Mexico, and it was AWESOME! I was still acclimating to the altitude, so it took much less exertion for me to feel winded, and I had taken the morning yoga class and did my own workout in our apartment building gym earlier that day, and I was on the brink of experiencing intestinal issues, but I gave what I could and had a great, dripping sweat time in her class!

I returned from my solo adventure feeling pumped up, excited about my fitness studio discovery, and proud of myself for going out on my own and gathering various information in Spanish!

Monuments:

We spotted most of these during our initial Sunday stroll, but others were seen while exploring the city throughout our visit. We stumbled upon many of these authentically in our walking excursions; in other words, with the exception of a couple we sought out, we did not go monument hunting, although it may appear as such because we did see quite a few of the main ones.

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Benito Juarez monument at Alameda Central. It’s impossible to get all of it into one photo if you’re standing in front of it looking at it (unless you’re using a GoPro or standing in the middle of traffic in the street, I suppose). The best view of it was from our 12th story apartment!
Monumento a Cuauhtémoc
Monumento a Cuauhtémoc
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Angel of Independence (yes, that’s a Donald Trump protest happening out in front of it)
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A close-up of part of the Donald Trump protest in front of the Angel of Independence
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Diana The Huntress Fountain
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We stumbled upon some NBA promoted event geared towards kids in Bosque de Chapultepec, which is apparently the largest park in Latin America. This monument is Altar A La Patria.
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Random boxing workout session going on at this monument, Tribuna Monumental.
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Monument to the Revolution in real life (meaning people walk in front of your photo frames and you just go with it)!
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This was near the Revolution monument and I thought he looked cool.

Protests:

We encountered a couple of protests while in Mexico City, both of which were non-violent (although it’s a bit unnerving to walk the streets and see groups of police officers equipped with riot gear, preparing for the 2nd protest we saw). There are photos above from the Donald Trump protest. The other was one we found out was scheduled one afternoon when we went out for lunch and walking around. When we returned to our place, there was a wall barricade up in front of our apartment building and other businesses nearby, separating them from foot traffic, and the march towards the Zocalo was in process. (The barriers are, from what we could gather, to prevent vandalism from happening on the properties of local businesses and other buildings). We quickly entered our building and watched from the 12th floor. This protest was aimed at the Mexican government on the 2nd anniversary of the 43 teachers who went missing on a bus in Guerrero. Many protestors called for the President to step down from his position in office due to his presumed involvement, among other government officials. Spray-painted on the barricades and throughout the walls and sidewalks of the city was, “+43 Faltan”, or, “+43 Missing”. This protest served as a reminder to us that while much of Mexico is relatively safe and violence-free, corruption and injustice is still a reality of daily life for many Mexican citizens. This protest demonstrated to us that the Mexican people are trying to hold their government accountable by demanding an explanation and not letting this incident get swept under the rug or allowing the 43 victims be forgotten.

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Clean-up crew and the police as the caboose!

La Condesa:

After staying in Alameda Central for a week, we extended our time in Mexico City by a couple of days to stay in this nearby neighborhood, which we’ve already shared many photos of throughout this post. As mentioned, we had walked through it during one of our city explorations; we loved the quieter, charming, more laid-back feel it had. There are also many restaurants and cafes within it that we wanted to experience but hadn’t yet. Our AirBnB host is a local who had many fine dining recommendations for us (which are affordable by U.S. pricing standards) and we enjoyed talking to him about his experiences living in Mexico City. We were reassured of how safe the neighborhood is but cautioned about taking the subways, as apparently they are notorious for men “bumping” into women (and thus women and children have a separate train car designated for them within it). It was enough for me to not want to bother taking the subway, which we had been considering, so we didn’t (although we didn’t need to anyway with there being plenty of taxis, Uber, a functional bus system, and walkability).

During this time, we were really in need of a place where we could retreat to easily to deal with any intestinal issues that needed to immediately be addressed, which happened more or less at times for each of us, sometimes simultaneously. In other words, we were still in the midst of experiencing Montezuma’s revenge, and our systems were touch-and-go as far as how we felt and how often we needed access to a toilet. We had been drinking Pepto Bismol and taking Immodium to provide some relief for our uneasy tummies and help “back things up” long enough for us to be able to spend some time outside of our room exploring. However, the nights had us up a few times and our mornings usually had some slow starts as we waited things out a bit, if that makes sense. 😀 Unfortunately, our digestion issues affected our enjoyment of food at times, even suppressing our appetites. But, we still got to experience quite a bit of food specialties, as you likely saw in our Culinary Experiences section earlier in this post!

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La Condesa features some streets where there are tree-lined pedestrian paths down the center separating vehicle traffic; it’s very nice to mosey through!

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We found a specialty health food store, The Green Corner, in La Condesa! Many products here were familiar to us from what is sold at the Co-Op in Sacramento! It was nice to experience a piece of home.
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View of the ice cream shop on the corner of our street! Our shared apartment with our AirBnB host in La Condesa is a couple doors down from it. I tried a vanilla-coconut popsicle with strawberry chunks in it and enjoyed it!

While staying in La Condesa, we ventured back out to Chapultepec Park to check out some of the wings within the National Museum of Anthropology. This place is huge and has so much historical information and artifacts from various time periods that it’s impossible to fully comprehend and see in one day. This museum was of interest to Aaron primarily, so he selected which areas he wanted to see within a couple of hours of time. We were particularly interested in walking through and viewing the exhibit featuring the indiginous cultures of modern day Oaxaca since we would soon visit the state for a few weeks of time.

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Overall, Mexico City was a great place to start our long-term travel journey in Mexico, and so was where we choose to stay within it; we got both the non-stop, something is going on 24/7 experience in Alameda Central, and the more neighborhood-y feel of La Condesa. Everything was walkable or an Uber ride away, making getting around convenient for us without our own vehicle (which based on the high amount of traffic, we wouldn’t want to drive ourselves in the city anyway). Price-wise, we were generally able to stay within our budget, as the exchange rate from U.S. dollars to Mexican pesos was close to $1 USD to $20 MX.

Hasta luego, Ciudad de Mexico! Viva Mexico! 😀
See you later, Mexico City! Long live Mexico! 😀

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This is the abbreviation for Mexico City. #CDMX
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Off to Queretero on the first Primera Plus bus trip of our travels!

Until next time,
Elena 🙂

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