Prove those people wrong about Mexico City


The city view from the Torre Latinoamericana skyscraper in downtown Mexico City

Mexico City. The place in Mexico that sinks 2cm each day. A city where you are never alone as you will always find people on the streets (standing still eating a taco, walking, talking, discussing yesterday’s ‘lucha libre’… or sleeping) and where history blows your mind from head till toe after nearly each couple of 100 meters. However, the number of shootings, rapes and other horrible things has been growing since the late 2000s and this made Mexico look like a bloody tourist destination you don’t want to go to if wishing to return back home safely.

Now let me tell you my story about Mexico and its Federal District.


Standing in front of the beautiful Mexican flag at the main square. The Zocalo

In 2012 I lived in the state of Oaxaca near the beach for a couple of months, in a little town called Huatulco. Nearly all my local friends were either born in Oaxaca or in Mexico City and they all had their stories to tell.

Many people from back home in the Netherlands and even Spain (as I used to live there before moving to Mexico) were very concerned about me staying in Mexico and especially when I decided to explore Mexico City. I made it clear to my friends and family that Mexico is a safe place as long as you don’t start anything with drugs or simply hang out with the wrong people, but when I said I was planning a trip to Mexico City in 2014 I had to convince a lot of them again that it would be all just fine.


Local people playing with the water of the fountains at Alameda Central Park

I am in a city so many people are afraid of going to. A place that has a bad reputation. Still I wish to see the beauty of this city where so many of my Mexican friends come from and prove those people who warned me that they are wrong. I have to say that the first impression Mexico City has given me is great. I am not a city gal and I will never be, but some cities do give me a warm and comfortable feeling and Mexico City is definitely one of them. To be quite Frank, I have always had a good feeling when thinking of this Mexican capital.


Historic building in Mexico City

I arrive to Mexico City with the bus, which I took from Puebla. Upon arrival I get into a taxi that I pay for up front at a kiosk in the bus station. The driver is a lady and she drops me off at downtown Mexico City where I still have to figure out where my hostel is located. Luckily it’s in the same street as where the taxi has dropped me. I choose a bunk bed in the dorm, drop my electronics and other personal belongings in a safe, leave my backpack by the side of the bed and go out to explore the city.


The view on the other side of the Torre Latinoamericana

I meet one of my ‘Huatulco’ friends who moved back to Mexico City and he shows me around in the evening after my own exploring. We go into a crowded bar, have a Victoria beer, walk though the almost empty streets of the city in the dark and all this works fine. As long as I am not walking alone, as I would also not like to walk alone at night back home, things will be okay. Mexico City has so much to offer. I soon realize that the feeling I had before arrival was right. Mexico City is a place full of normal people living their day to day life like most of us do. Duh.


My friend Izy and I at the Torre Latinoamericana

The place wasn’t scary and while yes people do tend to look at me a lot in Mexico City since I am tall, blond, have a light skin tone and light eyes (or basically look very ‘Gringa’), which gets noticed a lot in this country, I felt safe.

Looking back to my visit to Mexico City I have to say it was one of my favorite City trips ever.

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Ever since I left my home country I felt at home at any other place I went to. I enjoy getting to know more cultures by talking to strangers and hearing their philosophy about life. Speaking with gestures when you can not find a shared language, finding places only the locals go to and learn about their customs and values. Hanging out with local people makes me happy. The experience of every new place is a step out of your comfort zone where I like to wander around until it feels like a second home.

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