Mexico City is the shit.
The Food: Tacos, quesadilla, enchiladas, flautas, tortas. My favorite taco of the month was from Chetito. So so so good. A bit fancier than most taco places but still really inexpensive and MUY RICO. Another top contender was El Caminero. The spicy sauce made all the difference. 10/10. The abundance of street carts was also crazy! I passed at least 25 different carts on my walk to work every morning. The smells were amazing if you were hungry, and a bit overwhelming if you were not feeling 100%.
The Dranks: Mezcal. Whenever you taste just say it is “smoky”. Tequila. My ultimate favorite. Corona tastes so much better here! There is even a bar with it on tap (Salon Corona). I also just discovered the magic of Micholatas – beer with lime juice in the bottom and a salt rim. Sometimes chili makes an appearance. It makes a cheap beer (Tecate, Dos Equis, Victoria) taste like a cocktail. Upgrade!
Lucha Libre: For Euston’s birthday a big group of us got tickets to see a fantastical night of wrestling and drama. What a hoot. We grabbed our tickets, masks, capes, and 1 liter beers and sat 5 rows away from the ring. I’ve never laughed so hard in a long long time. There was a Blue Panther, there was a Lil Vinny who was all oiled up and wearing short shorts, Santa even made an appearance. I want to be a luchadore when I grow up.
The Pinatas: I love them all. There were pinatas as big as a car and pinatas as small as mouse. My dream was to have a pinata party and the entrance fee was one pinata. Eventually the apartment would be filled to the brim with pinatas.
Teotihuacan: We took a daytrip to Teotihuacan a.k.a. the “City of the Gods”. Sor kewl! The pyramids were huge! And it was so fun to walk among then and imagine the Aztecs going about their daily business. The steps were very steep and tiny – not for the faint of heart. At some points I had to mimic the mountain goat and do a little sidestep action to make it up. At the top of the Pyramid of the Moon, I had a great view down the “Avenue of Death” and liked to pretend I was a great and powerful emperor. Maybe without the human sacrificing though.
Sidewalks: The sidewalks were INSANE. Walking around and trying to cross the street is a full time job! On our second day here Cara was almost lost forever when she stepped on the top of a manhole, and it fell right in. Her whole leg was swallowed, but luckily with some quick thinking she recovered and narrowly escaped. DO NOT STEP ON POTHOLES IN MEXICO CITY.
Chinampas: I got the opportunity to volunteer on a farm one Sunday. We drove out to Xochimilco (about an hour from downtown) where there is a network of canals and artificial islands called chinampas which were originally built by the Aztecs. These islands are still used for farming and that’s exactly what we were going to do. We were picked up near a church and guided through a maze of allys and tiny paths to find the canal. We then jumped on the shallow bottomed wooden boat and we were off. We made our way through the canals to find our tiny farm island. It was pretty surreal gliding along on a boat while passing a couple of cows just hanging on their own island. We started to help on the farm (moving dried plants, scooping mud from the bottom of the canal for fertilizer, placing plants in the garden plot). It was an awesome afternoon being in the fresh air and being able to see the results of our hard work. By the end we were all covered in mud. Some more than others (i.e. Mud Brothers).
Dinner with Abuelas: This was a rough experience but I am glad I went. We were invited to eat at a local grandmothers house and help her cook. I don’t speak much Spanish (YET!), and they didn’t speak any English so there was a bit of a language barrier. I tried so hard to be polite but really had no idea what to do or say or how to help. I felt like a helpless baby when they were serving me. I even ate brain accidentally? Tasted a bit mushy. I was so excited when they asked me my age and I was psyched up and ready for this questions. I confidently answered “viernes cinco”! They looked at me confused, girl you are not Friday 5 years old. Oops. I will never forget to say “veinti cinco” from now on.
Trajineras: Our going away party was my favorite this year! We went back to the canals of Xochimilco, but this time we were on party boats ready to have a great last night in Mexico. We did have a slight hiccup on the way to the canals, though. We had a huge charter bus, which was not friendly to the tiny, tiny streets of Xochimilco. During one especially tight spot, we were about to make it through the turn with inches to spare (after an 18-point turn) when the driver realized we were about to hit a car. After some debating, the driver and a few Broatians jumped out of the van and lifted the car to the side so we could pass. I was sweating bullets the whole time. As we passed down the street, the locals were in their doorways shaking their heads at us. Ay yi yi!! Once we finally made it to the port, we found our party boats! The boats, called trajineras, are fitted with two benches and a table in the middle and are painted in insane neon colors. We boarded our three boats and headed into the canal with a cooler full of Dos Equis, chips, salsa, and some music. We passed many other party boats throughout the night and bought some empanadas from one floating boat, and some corn from another. We also passed a creepy baby doll island. It was a perfect last night!
Gracias por todo CDMX!