The Localist

“Diez pesos te vale, diez pesos te cuesta”

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“Diez pesos te vale, diez pesos te cuesta.”

It’s a common phrase you’ll hear on your commute in Mexico City’s subway system, and it literally means that whatever the vagoneros (or “irregular” vendors) are trying to sell you not only costs 10 pesos, it’s also only worth 10 pesos.

Such is the black market in this gran cuidad, and some of the best [and possibly worst] music can be found in the Metro subway system.

Piracy is everywhere in this city. You can find everything under the sun, without having to look that hard. Although the mayor of DF is working hard, or hardly working, to do away with the vagoneros that travel around on the Metro with stereos on their backs, selling pirated CD compilations of salsa music, cumbia, banda, pop, 80s, 90s, whatever, they are still alive and well below the streets of this city.

Buy a CD from one of them. It could very well be one of the most entertaining musical experiences of your visit.

Think Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” followed up by A-Ha’s “Take on Me.” With some Katy Perry and PitBull mixed in.

“What?!!” you might be asking. “That seems random.”

And it is. But for that reason, it’s wildly entertaining. You never know what you will get. Those CDs literally hold hundreds of songs. Pretty good value, if you ask me.

So sometimes they may blast their tunes a little too loud for the morning commute, but take a stroll underground on a lazy Sunday, agua de sabor (fresh fruit water) in hand, and just enjoy the ride. Move to the beat, dance in your seat if you want. Just go with the flow.

MEET THE LOCAL: KATIE BIELAMOWICZ

Image. Photo by El Universal.

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