Back from Mexico City

WE RETURNED from Mexico City yesterday after spending five nights in that tumultuous burg, and I’ve never been so happy to get back to the Hacienda.

We own a condo there, where my child bride lived when we met over 16 years ago, and we visit a couple of times a year to air it out. Otherwise, it just sits there, furnished and idle. We’d rent it if we could find someone reliable.

condo
Our condo is one of many in one of these buildings.

Two of the four full days were dedicated to straightening out a financial matter, a pension fund, left over from when my wife worked as a civil engineer with the federal highway department. For some reason, offices at UNAM, the massive National Autonomous University of Mexico, are involved in the matter.

I had never been to UNAM, which is in the southern side of Mexico City. Alas, our condo stands in the northern side. Since Mexico City traffic is beyond dreadful, this meant hours of sitting in taxis inching through traffic.

Otherwise, the visit entailed cleaning the condo, and eating caldo de gallina one day in a nearby restaurant we found recently and barbecue hamburgers in a food truck just across the street from our place.

So you get a feel for things, at top is a brief video I shot during the bus ride to the national capital, and below is another I shot from a Mexico City taxi. We were on our way to UNAM. Or maybe we were returning from UNAM. It really makes no difference whatsoever.

Now I’ve got yard work to do. Things pile up when you’re gone.

28 thoughts on “Back from Mexico City

  1. Everyone should experience Mexico City at least once to appreciate the lack of chaos they have at home. My experience in that huge caldron of fumes, near misses and constant noise was not all that bad. Yet I was relieved to clear the city after four days of sightseeing and head to quieter environs. Several events still stand out in my mind to this day: Turning a city corner to encounter a row of Federales in riot gear standing at attention for something about to happen, walking on a very busy and narrow sidewalk dodging holes in the ground as well as dodging clogs of people, and a bit of romanticism on a street corner as a very handsome man was greeting his love at a stop sign. He leaned her backwards … way back and planted a deep kiss upon her lips, turned his head to look at me and smiled. He left me a bit breathless as well, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leisa: Mexico City is a place so huge that you can encounter just about anything imaginable. I would like it far more were it not for the insufferable traffic. The first few years we went there after the tenants in the condo departed in 2007 (we rented it for about five years after we got married), we drove in our car. But then I wearied of that white-knuckle experience, and now we take the bus there, and taxis around town. Taxis are quite cheap. I’ve been there so often now that the novelty has worn off. If I never set foot there again, I would not miss it.

      I have no clue why your comments continue to go to the moderation file first. That should not be happening. Blame WP, not me.

      Like

        1. Leisa: Well, there is that. I fix everybody’s grammar. Sometimes I miss things. It’s the obsession of a former newspaper editor. The comment section here is likely the most attractive on the internet. Everyone writes like a writer.

          Like

  2. Get on subway line 5 at Instituto del Petroleo. At La Raza station change to line 3 and stay on it until Universidad. Reverse the process coming back.
    Sounds simple, but so does making an atom bomb. Look out for pickpockets and enjoy the crowd.

    Like

    1. Señor Gill: I know the subway is an option. Probably even get anywhere far quicker. But, like the traffic, the mobs in the subway stations do not appeal. Plus, being taller than most everyone else, unless I get a seat, I cannot see where I am at any moment without stooping down to look out a window if possible. So, I don’t like the traffic, and I don’t like the subway. I don’t like the Metrobus (just an above-ground subway), the peseros, or any other way of getting around in the monster city.

      But thanks for the suggestion. I should stay home.

      Like

      1. Years ago we wanted to return to Mexico City. I plotted out the routes for all the places we wanted to see. But then the IRS peeled us like a grape. That ended the Mexico City expedition.

        Like

        1. Señor Gill: Peeled you like a grape? I like that. In any event, next time you get down here, go somewhere else. I think even Guadalajara would be better, but since I have hardly ever been there, and not in the last 16 or so years, maybe not.

          Like

          1. We used to visit family in Guadalajara, but they since passed away. God only knows who got the house. It wasn’t us. Last time down was 2004.

            Like

            1. Señor Gill: Fourteen years away. You would be surprised at the changes down here. I’ve been away from the United States almost a decade. I imagine I would be surprised at the changes up there too.

              Like

  3. CDMX is interesting for a while. Got stuck on the Metrobus at rush hour trying to get from a museum back to the hotel. I did not enjoy it. La Gringa enjoyed it even less. However, I’ll bet we go back at some point soon for a short visit.

    Welcome home, señor.

    Like

    1. Ricardo: The Metrobus is only marginally better than the subway.

      There are so many better places to visit in Mexico. The capital city is just too much of a bother.

      Welcome home indeed. I am delighted to be here even though I was out in the yard just now raking bougainvillea flowers for an hour or so. I can’t get a break.

      Like

  4. How long is the bus ride? I noticed the seats are not premium.

    With two cars, why did you decided to bus it this time?

    I found it was as difficult to find a “strong arm” rent collector, as a renter.

    Like

    1. Beverly: The Autovías line, which is one of the upper-scale lines, goes to the Central Norte, which is near our condo, in about five hours from our mountaintop town. However, I have some issues with Autovías, so we’ve been taking a bus from here to the nearby state capital, and then changing to the ETN line, which is very swanky (usually) and spacious, which is good for my long legs. From the state capital to the Central Norte is four hours.

      By the seats not “being premium,” I imagine you are referring to what shows in the bus video, but that’s not the back of one of the seats. That’s a railing on the stairwell coming up from below. It’s a two-story bus. The seats on ETN are very nice.

      As for driving ourselves, I quit doing that at least five years ago. Driving in Mexico City is just too much for my delicate sensibilities (i.e. stressful), so I stopped and now leave the driving to others, either bus drivers or taxi drivers. Mexico City taxis are cheap.

      As for renters, doing it from afar, unless it’s someone we know and trust, is just too dicey a proposition in this country. Not to put too fine a point on it, most Mexicans cannot be trusted in that respect. Sad but true. And all Mexicans know that to be true, but you won’t hear it from one easily unless you’re another Mexican. We don’t trust one another for good reason. For the first five years after my wife moved here, she rented the place to a former coworker and his wife whom she knew to be trustworthy. And they really were. Alas, they bought their own place and moved away. It was a sad day.

      Like

  5. I was in the “City” only once for two days, and that really was enough. Museum, Pyramids, Cathedral and a couple other places and back then the Zona Rosa was really the place. I don’t think I’d ever go back unless it was with someone who really knew what they were doing. I even stay away from Guadalajara even though it is only minutes away. No big cities for me anymore. I work hard keeping my sanctuary presentable as you do at your Hacienda. Rains will be here in six weeks, and then it is vacation time for me in the sense I don’t have to water, etc.

    Like

    1. Peggy: Mexico City is a real challenge, as you noticed. Not a place for me. As for the rains, I just like the cooler weather. I don’t water my yard during spring, and I don’t water the surrounding yard plants as much as I ought to. I’m lazy. When the rain starts, usually in June, I love it, but by late August I’ve had it up to here. Just can’t please some people.

      And now it’s your comments going to moderation. God knows why.

      Like

      1. Probably because I’ve been having major computer troubles and have had to reset a bunch of stuff. I hate it as I am not a techie at all!

        Like

  6. I read somewhere that Mexico City is sinking. This little “factoid” said 18 inches per year.

    I doubt the accuracy of that figure. What say you? Is your condo slowly sinking into the marsh?

    Like

    1. Ray: Mexico City is definitely sinking. I don’t have the official sink rate at hand, but it’s significant. The Aztecs built their capital on a lake bed, and the Spaniards later filled the lake bed in and began the city that exists today. You can spot signs of the sinking in numerous places. The original church to our Virgin of Guadalupe, built centuries ago and which is not too far from our place, is showing drastic sinking signs. It’s lopsided, and the floor is not level. Modern construction, I would imagine, takes that issue into consideration. Our condo building shows no sign of sinking at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Did you see the display of the Soccer Balls? My cousin Paul Zarkin Church is the promoter for this art display.

    Like

    1. Señor Leathersich: I did not. As mentioned, two of the four days were pretty much taken up with the business on the UNAM campus. That was Days Two and Three. Day One was shopping and condo cleaning. The final day we were overwhelmed by the traffic situation and did not venture far from home.

      Like

  8. Jeez, you took a cab from your place to UNAM and then you complain about the traffic? Why on earth didn’t you just take Metro Line #3, which runs more or less from your place directly to UNAM? You’d have saved a ton of time and a ton of money, even if you had taken taxis on both ends to and from the metro stop.

    Really, you have no right to complain when you deliberately make things worse for yourself. Heck, if you timed your journey properly, you’d likely even have gotten a seat.

    But, ni modo. The cab ride video was entertaining, and certainly typical.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, Ca
    Where even at the height of the so-called “rush hour,” it takes about 15 minutes to cross the entire town.

    Like

    1. Kim: As I said in another comment, yes, the Metro would have been faster, but the mob scene, afoot instead of mechanized, is hardly more agreeable to me. In my opinion, there is no good way to get from Point A to Point B in that miserably overcrowded city. None, zip, zed, cero.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your start and end points on the metro were close enough to the ends of the line that you’d likely have gotten seats reasonably quickly. But yeah, wrong time of day, and it can be a real mob scene. Saludos.

        Like

        1. Kim: It’s a pain taking a cab, and it’s a pain taking the Metro. It’s simply a different type of pain. At least in the cab, I just have to be patient, and I can watch the passing city, which often is fun. Yes, the taxis cost way more than the Metro, but taxi fares in Mexico City are dirt cheap compared to what they are in big U.S. cities. I can go miles in Mexico City for what it would cost to go three blocks in New York, San Francisco and others of that Gringo ilk.

          Like

          1. Oh indeed. Though Uber and Lyft have helped the situation enormously. Also in CDMX, Uber is far preferable the regular taxis. The cars are much newer and nicer, and they don’t mind running the a/c if necessary.

            Like

            1. Kim: I’ve never given much thought to using Uber. Normally, we just walk out to the street and hail one. With luck, the need will soon vanish. It’s possible that we’re going to rent the place to a relative, a young fellow who’s going to Politécnico next fall. The school is walking distance from our place.

              Like

Comments are closed.