The Localist

An ode to Mexico City

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I love listening to tourists describe Mexico City. I love hearing their take on the places they’ve visited, the food, the markets, the people. It makes me appreciate the place I live in, and forget the constant chaos that surrounds the city once you get into a routine.

Mexico City is much of what they say, a megalopolis where the richest man of the world lives alongside people living in the most precarious situations. It is the city with the largest number of museums in the world, a statement of the diversity of cultures that live within it. It is a city with a pyramid right next to downtown’s main square, and a network of canals that gives you an idea of the kind of place it was first built over.

It is truly an amazing place to live in, with infinite things to do and learn. But sometimes when you live here you forget. You get stuck in traffic for hours and wish you lived by the beach. You hear about the corruption of the government and wish there was something you could do. You see kids working in the streets and fantasize about raising your own kids in a better place.

But tourists don’t see this. Tourists go to the museums and taste the food and love the city. They get excited when they get caught up in a demonstration and feel privileged to share that moment with people from all over the country. They walk in the rain not caring about getting wet as long as they can see everything there is to see. They taste everything you put in front of them, without asking what it is. Tourists remind me of the amazing city I live in, of all the places I still haven’t seen and all the restaurants I haven’t tried.

So I agree with people when they say that you should act like a local when you visit a place, and get to know more than the usual tourist traps, and I hope my contributions here will help tourists discover new places in Mexico City and get the most out their trips. But I also think that locals should behave more like tourists, especially in a place like Mexico. We should put aside the chaos and let ourselves be amazed once again, because we live in the greatest city of the world.

MEX_MariaJoseCespedes_M

 

MEET THE LOCAL: MARÍA JOSÉ CÉSPEDES

 

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