As I am coming up on one week in Ciudad de Mexico, this post is going to be pretty long. I came into this city with a “why not” mentality and it has been a great decision.
My first week did not disappoint and Sunday (Yesterday) I made the executive decision to not do ANYTHING today because I needed to recuperate. What did I do? Buckle up y’all
So I flew into CDMX on Tuesday afternoon and hung out there for a few hours waiting for my Airbnb host. She was flying in from Bolivia and so we rode back to the house together from the airport. After unpacking and getting myself situated, I decided to go out and get some food because I was starving. Of course I got some chilaquiles! Something I’ve been doing a lot is going onto google maps and looking at what kind of food/dessert/drink places are nearby. I do it if I’m bored or can’t sleep and the save function on the app has been awesome. Because of this, I had a place nearby I wanted to hit up. It was called Tamalito Corazón and did not disappoint. The chilaquiles were different than I was used to….they just poured salsa on top of a pile of dry tortilla chips which I think is kinda weird. But they were still sooooo good. The salsa verde was actually very tasty – I’m more of a salsa rojo kinda gal – and they were very generous with the crema, queso and cebolla. The egg on top rounded it off well and they included a bread roll to soak up all the extra salsa at the end. It was filling, cheap, and delicious. I went back again later in the week to get the chilaquiles with salsa roja and I will most definitely return several more times before I leave.
Anywhoooo, I decided to eat my chilaquiles this first day on a park bench that was nearby. As I was eating, someone came up to me with a dog and papers….they looked like they were trying to have me sign up for something. When I told them I didn’t understand…they switched to English and started asking me about where I was from. Then BAM. “Are you Japanese?” Are you kidding me! I was doing so well in Guadalajara. People were surprised when they found out I was a tourist! I was blending in until I started to try and speak. Well, that has not been the case here in CDMX. I stand out. It’s either my clothes, my height, just the way my face looks. I don’t know, but people stare EVERYWHERE! The handful of locals that I’ve met here, when I mention this to them I generally get the response of “ya you do look like someone from Guadalajara”. I don’t know what a person from Guadalajara looks alike, but hey I guess I fit that mold better than I do the mold of someone from Ciudad de Mexico. But ya, I keep getting long stares, and they are so obvious it’s kind of annoying but there’s nothing I can do about it.
Wednesday, being my first actual day in the city, was when I went to the Frida Language Center to set up my two weeks of classes. I took the placement test and placed into intermediate as expected. After that I was starving and so went to this restaurant called La Bohême in the Roma neighborhood. I was just walking around trying to find something open and they ended up being the place that looked vegetarian friendly. Trying to switch things up I opted for huevos rancheros instead of the chilaquiles – shocking, I know! Since Roma is quite the hipster neighborhood, it came on some type of dense sheet of bread instead of tortilla like it normally does. I was good. Not something I’ll get again, but I didn’t hate it. The agua de pepino was super good though. 10/10 for that. After getting some groceries I went home to rest and had my first moment where I needed to hype myself up and say “just do it!”
While I was resting, I went on the CouchSurfing app and looked to see if any events were happening. There was a meet up at a Pulquería only a couple blocks away. I had never had pulque before and there was going to be a live band playing salsa music. It sounded like a lot of fun! And I almost didn’t go. Walking into a random bar in a city you don’t know to meet up with a bunch of people who you also don’t know is pretty intimidating. This is where they hyping myself up came in. About 45 minutes before it started, the internal battle I had with myself to decide whether I should get dressed and go or lay in for the night was intense. But I ultimately told myself that there was literally nothing to loose and I would be trying pulque for the first time, just go! So I did and I had a great time. I danced with so many people…..and some people danced me because I do not know how to dance salsa and Mexican men sure as hell do! I had a piña flavored glass of pulque, pretty good but oh my god it was a heavy and sweet drink. That one glass and I was done! There’s some alcohol it but I couldn’t taste it and it was the feeling of fullness in my stomach that stopped me from drinking anything other than water for the rest of the night.
On top of being just a super fun night of dancing I met a couple people who ended up inviting me out to super fun things later on in the week.
On Thursday, I went to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul. It was incredible. I waited about an hour and a half in line, in the sun to get my ticket but it was completely worth it. I purchased the videoguide to go through the house with and I’m glad I did. I’m not super informed about Frida Kahlo’s life or her marriage with Diego Rivera (please tell me you think he is unattractive as well? Like I don’t understand how he had so many affairs….well he was rich and super famous so I guess that was it….) so having the background information on what I was seeing with a narrative of her life was worth the extra $80 pesos. It was much more meaningful because of it. One thing that hit me really hard was her desire and lack of ability to have a child. It’s something that seems to be ingrained in Mexican women from a very young age. Even though I wasn’t raised with a whole lot of Mexican culture, the idea that you will get married and have kids was always present. There were always babies around, either from my own family or from family friends. As soon as my sister got married, everyone started asking about kids. When my sister got married, people started asking when my ex and I (who were still together at the time) were going to get married. Everyone in my family wants weddings and babies. I grew up with that and I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s not like I’m rushing into any of it, but damn. Being in Mexico has been making my ovaries EXPLODE. There are so many cute babies everywhere….like literally so many chubby squishes with their dark hair. It’s funny how hard my hormones are fighting my rational thought process. I don’t actually want a baby right now…or do I?…. no I don’t. Like that thought actually terrifies me. But there was also something about being in Frida’s house and seeing her paintings of her miscarriages and the fetuses that hit me really hard. Whether it is irrational or not, I am scared that I will have trouble getting pregnant in the future. I love having an IUD and the peace of mind that comes with it. But I also wonder what will be the effects of a decade with something in my uterus. I trust medicine when they say I will immediately return to full fertility upon removal…but I think that nervous ‘what if’ will always be there until I actually get pregnant. In the far future. Far. Far. Future.
After leaving Fridas house, I went to the mall near the metro station. Not only did I figure out the metro all by myself, I bought my ticket and got to the right place in the right direction. This day I also got a lady at Sephora to help me shade match a foundation. I hate doing that in the US in English. And I managed it in Spanish…I was so proud of myself. Also Fenty is MAGIC!
On Friday I walked aaaaaaaalllllllll over Centro Historico de CDMX. The cathedral was like nothing I had ever seen before. The amount of gold that was inside was mind boggling. I walked to a bunch of different museums, didn’t actually go in but I got my bearings for what was around downtown. Then that night I went out to Zona Rosa with one of the people I met at the CouchSurfing event. It was a super fun night of dancing and drinking beers but it ended up feeling like a date because the friends that were coming with him showed up super late and then left early when another person didn’t show up. The dude was super nice and all, but I was not into it and it was also just a nice reminder that I do not want anything serious with a random stranger in a different country. When it comes down to it, my heart is somewhere else, with someone else (not my ex, don’t worry guys haha) and this dude was super into me. I’m not about to lead him on when I literally want nothing romantic. I felt a little bad for not responding fast to his texts the next day and not continuing the conversation but I would rather have that than accidentally lead him on even more. Don’t get me wrong, the attention is nice. And something I’ve been working on during this trip is being aware of how I make others react. Like I’ve always had self confidence issues and for a long time, I’ve had the mentality of “there’s no way they actually like me back” but I’m cutting that shit out. I’m cute and I’m nice and I’m trying to acknowledge that more. I know I missed an opportunity with someone because when the timing presented itself, I told myself there was so way he was actually into me too…..well I’m still into him and I’m pretty sure he’s into me to. But timing is a thing and when you’re traveling the world solo, discovering yourself, that doesn’t seem the be the best time to confess your feeling.
On Saturday I went out with another Courchsurfer friend who took me and another traveler around Coyoacan and el Centro Historico. We went to Diego Rivera’s studio. I ate quesadillas (they are fried and stuffed with filling, waaaaayyyyyy different than the quesadillas I”m used to in the US) for the first time and holy shit…..incredible! Later on we went down to Centro Historico and found this really cool little sound museum. We ate esquite and Venezuelan -Aleta’s with alcohol. I tried mezcal for the first time and had some great chocolate. It was a very long but very fun day. And this is also when I meet Sara. She’s a Peruvian travel who’s travels started 3.5 years ago just like mine are starting now. She’s a teacher so she is able to travel for 3 months every year…how fucking awesome is that! We really bonded on the metro women’s cart when we realized that our stories and catalyst for starting to travel were almost the same. She had some great advice for me about being free, enjoying the people I meet along the way, and to look forward to all the eye candy in Europe. She basically said “take your time, wait until your ready. But be a hoe with all the beautiful men you meet. It will change everything for you! You are going to be so exotic in Europe and trust me, you will find so many men that are so attractive.” Now I don’t know if I’m going to take her advice but girl I bow down to you! I applaud you for owning yourself and doing whatever you want, going wherever you want!