I’ve been living in Mexico City for almost nine months now. I love it here. But my relationship with the City is complex. Yes I love Mexico City most of the time. But sometimes I hate it too.
So while I avoid negativity on this blog, honesty is also important. And that means painting a complete picture of the City, with all the grimy details – not just highlighting the good parts.
So here are some reasons why I hate Mexico City:
1) The People
If you believe the guidebooks, you’d think that everyone in Mexico City is friendly, warm, and open. Unfortunately that’s just not true. There’s a reason why capitalinos (Mexico City residents) are hated all over provincial Mexico. Many locals are aggressive, ignorant, and rude. They simply don’t care about anyone else. Some will actively rip you off. I’ve had THREE different locals steal from me here. That never happened in Colombia. Of course not all capitalinos are bad! Some are genuinely buena onda. I’d say about one third of the residents here are really good people.
2) Air Pollution
Before I moved to el DF I rarely got sick. But since I’ve been here, I’ve been extremely ill three times. First, I caught a serious lung infection. Then I got food poisoning. Then I got a painful ear infection. I blame the two infections on the pollution. The air here is fouled with a nasty combination of industrial waste, wood smoke, car exhaust, and volcanic ash. Sure, it’s cleaner here now than it was during the 80’s. But if you’re sensitive to air pollution, you’ll suffer here.
3) The Noise
The noise in Mexico City is like an evil Entity – it permeates everything. And it never stops. This can be hard to deal with at first. It fucks with your head. You do get used to it after a while. It fades into the background, until even the most obnoxious sound barely registers. The secret? Don’t take it personal. No one’s making noise to annoy you. If you didn’t exist, it would be just as noisy.
4) Terrible Traffic
The traffic here is horrendous. If you don’t own a car, like me, you can mostly avoid it. And if you use Uber, relaxing in the back seat while stuck in traffic isn’t that bad. But either way, traffic sucks. And it really adds to the awful air and noise pollution.
5) Dangerous Sidewalks
Mexico City was built on a drained lake. So it’s literally sinking into the old lakebed. This wreaks havoc on the sidewalks – they’re a disastrous health hazard. Cracked, broken, buckled, jagged, and full of nasty holes. Boots and high-heels are dangerous. I’ve seen multiple people fall flat on their faces here (including my Mom)! On top of that, there’s live power-lines hanging at face level, reckless drivers, and dog crap everywhere.
6) It’s Hard To Get Around
This ties in with the traffic and sidewalks. No matter where you go in el DF, it’s gonna be a struggle to get there. And it will almost always take longer than you planned. Things like the Metro can be efficient during off-hours. But they can also be super-crowded and stressful to use. If you must travel, daytime during the weekdays is the best time for it.
7) Nothing Works Right
This is an issue all over Latin America, not just in Mexico City. But it’s a big problem here too. Everywhere you go something will be broken, or it won’t work right. The electricity is off, the faucet is broken, the dryer doesn’t dry, or the elevator is out of order. And so on. And the chances of it being fixed any time soon? Slim to none. Ahorita, ahorita.
For the most part, Mexico City is a great place to live, and here are many reasons to love it here. The good outweighs the bad.
But to really understand el DF, you need a complete picture. Not just a one sided, rose-colored view. Now you know what to expect.
What do you hate about Mexico City?
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