People in Mexico City

October 31, 2006  
Topics: Mexico

Originally written for

Is it true that Mexico City is one of the most dangerous cities in the world? To be honest, we do not know it. We can say that Mexico City is overcrowded with people and cars, full of smog, and busy, but somehow marvellous. Until now, we did not encounter any problems. In contrary, we met wonderful people over here.


First, we stayed with my friend Katheryn, who I (Katja) met through GlobalFreeLoaders. She is a Chemical Engineer, working in Charlotte, US. We had the pleasure to meet her best friend Paco, a movie maker, Paco’s girlfriend, an artist, who provided us with delicious self-made sushi, and another artist specializing in erotic paintings. Katheryn’s brother Raul gave us a brief insight into Islam and Buddhism. All together we went to the Coyoacan District, which is famous for its weekend market in the Plaza and its colonial style, with lots of cafés, restaurants and bars. We were told not to miss a beer with hot chilli-salsa and salt. Due to Katheryn, we also enjoyed vegan Tacos in the restaurant “100% natural”. Mniam!

During our last ride towards Mexico City we heard about “El Chopo”, a market known for its alternative scene and music. When we got out in the metro station Buenavista, we felt amazed. Black dressed people with creative, often barock style clothes, men in skirts, interesting make-up, the best haircuts in Central America, “natural” black roses, and an atmosphere that makes you want to dive into this world. It feels so free, so true, so rebellious, and precious.

Maria, whom we gave a present from a German friend

Maria, whom we gave a present from a German friend

One day we fulfilled a mission of bringing a CD with Polish music to a Mexican dance group. Our friend Michael from Germany gave them a ride in summer 2005. They liked the music playing in his car, thus Michael promised to send a CD to them. Nine months after we were given the CD, we met Maria, one of the dancers, from the district Cuajimalpa. She was surprised and overwhelmed, and invited us right away to the cultural center of Cuajimalpa, for watching her folk dance group rehearsal. What a pleasure!

We also spend a day with Paco, a writer, and Lilly, a movie translator, two Servas members, who showed us around Mexico’s amazingly huge university town, gave us an introduction into its history, and invited us for a lunch into a tiny restaurant in Tlalpan, a town South of Mexico City. We spend a fabulous time, learning not only about the capital, but a lot about South America, especially Argentina.

Esthel, Mateo and Rodrigo - our first and longest Servas hosts in Mexico City

Esthel, Mateo and Rodrigo - our first and longest Servas hosts in Mexico City

We moved to Rodrigo and Estrela, a couple from Servas. Mateo, the 9 months old son, loves to play with their dog Mao. Once Mao cought baby’s toy and did not want to give it back. This made Mateo laughing in such an infectious way, that we were holding our belly. With Estrela and Rodrigo we spend the nights talking about travel experiences and places to visit. We felt so comfortable in their home, especially enjoyed their great variety of Cereals every morning.

Then we settled down in Oscar’s apartment. Oscar is an artist, and calls himself a “crazy painter”. He is humorous and a very laid-back. “Life is beautiful”, was one of the most mentioned sentences during our stay. Oscar talked a lot, loved to play Domino with us, and got sleepy eyes watching our 400 recently developed photos. We spent our time with various visits to the marvellous historic center of Mexico City, cooked several times for all of us, and met the Russian vice-consul, a client and a friend of Oscar. One day we cleaned the apartment together, which occurred being too good when Oscar stated: “This house is already old. This is why the dirt is gathering everywhere.” This made us laughing because we knew the real reason for the households condition…

While being in Mexico City, we were contacted by Brad, currently an English teacher, and a member of CouchSurfing. He is 41 years old, gave up all his belongings, and dedicated his life to travelling and living like a vagabond, or “hardcore traveller”, as he calls himself. He works for his travels wherever he goes, and was interested in our experiences, since our travel styles differ. Brad invited us to join the weekly “Charla”, a discussion meeting in the “Casa de los amigos” (“house of friends”). We arrived the weekend of its 50 years celebration, thus the discussion round consisted of travellers from all over the world, sharing their experiences with the Casa. The atmosphere was warm, welcoming, and making us feel we should come back one day. Besides sharing our way of travelling, we learned what the Quakers religion is. In future we will not confuse them anymore with “Quaker Oats”.


Alvaro, a HospitalityClub member, joined us one evening in Coyoacan district. We were taught about the soon coming event “Dia de los muertos” and its different ways of celebration by indigenous people. We visited the most important place in Coyoacan, which is a take away coffee shop, where always a bunch of people is waiting. The service is fast, the coffee is good, and at the end it is “something that you have to experience”, as Alvaro said. The evening we spent sitting in the Plaza and sharing travel experiences. Alvaro once crossed from Armenia to Iran, having a couple of liquor bottles in his backpack. They were supposed to be souvenirs for his friends in Mexico. The Iranian customers did not allow him to bring the alcohol into Islamic country, and all of Alvaro’s tries to save the souvenirs failed. One of the officers demonstratively let the bottle fall onto the ground crashing into pieces. Alvaro was speechless, and while we were caught in his story, the electricity in Coyoacan center disappeared. “This does not quite happen in a regular mode”, commented Alvaro, and continued feeding us with his stories.

We met all these people in the last 10 days since our arrival to the capital of Mexico. Yet we are not leaving this huge place, and expect to visit even more places, and meet more people in Mexico City and its surroundings. Today will be one of the most exciting days, as we are going to participate in the “Dia de los muertos” (“Day of the Death”) celebration!!!


  1. EMILY says:

    well i hate this place