Lessons Learned on the Mexican Metro
1- There are ALL KINDS of vendors on the metro! Angelina Jolie could have adopted children on the metro and would have not needed to travel half way around the world.
2- When a music vendor gets in your cart IT IS NOT appropriate to POP, LOCK, AND DROP IT! People will stare… Yes EVEN IF IT IS YOUR JAM
3- Always aim for the middle of the cart. It is the best place to CREEP and BE CREEPED ON.
4- When getting ON the metro cart, you DON’T HAVE TO wait for everyone to get off… wait until there’s enough room to wiggle in and CHARGE!
5-If you are the one trying to get OUT, make your way to the very front of the door at the previous stop and when the doors open…. PLOW YOUR WAY THROUGH! It is COMPLETELY ACCEPTABLE to ELBOW AND TACKLE PEOPLE on your way out.
6- It will never rain in the metro system, but non the less hold your umbrella in your hand. It will serve as an extension of your arm and you can SHOVE AND MOVE PEOPLE OUT OF YOUR WAY WITH IT! I AM NOT telling you to hit the other riders like PIÑATAS….BE DISCRETE WITH YOUR RUDENESS!
7- While riding the metro hold your bag TIGHTLY as if you are CARRYING BABY JESUS in there!
8- If you’re listening to your headphones WEAR THEM UNDER YOUR SHIRT! In the rare case of a metro assault YOU TUCK THEM IN YOUR SHIRT!
9- Treat CHILDREN as LITTLE PEOPLE who need to learn to SWING THEIR ARMS FASTER to PICK UP THE PACE.
10- People here DO NOT understand STAND RIGHT WALK LEFT when it comes to the escalator. The solution is to attack the regular stairs as if your ROCKY BALBOA!
11- GIVE UP YOUR SEAT FOR NO ONE!!! You are ROSA PARKS and you stand your ground! If there is a PREGNANT woman SHE BETTER BE CROWNING in order for someone to give up their seat!
12- MOST IMPORTANTLY, when a medical student plays footsie with you DON’T JUST SMILE when they ask for your number…. YOU WILL NEVER SEE THAT PERSON AGAIN! WAH!!!!
Five days in Mexico City so far and it has been such an amazing experience thus far. This truly is a megalopolis given the size, population, and power of the city.
What has astounded me has been the amount of traffic that exists in this city! I thought I had seen gridlock traffic before on the Dan Ryan in Chicago or on the Beltway in DC but NOTHING compares to the traffic that exists here. I asked “when is rush hour” and the response I received was “it’s always rush hour.” Given the amount of traffic that exists you can begin to imagine the way people drive. If I were more oriented towards the Catholic faith, I would pray a rosary every time I got into a car. Nonetheless I kind of like the adrenaline rush you get… maybe I’ll try driving while I’m down here.
However, I found nothing as fascinating as being able to observe the elections. I think the system itself needs many upgrades and there are several things that IFE could do in order to more adequately count the votes. Peña Nieto is the unofficial winner until Wednesday and there seems to be a worry that the Peso is going to devalue further within the upcoming presidential term.
Someone I met today said something very interesting to me, “as long as people don’t change, the government won’t change.” I didn’t quite understand what he meant at first until he went into great detail into explaining “la mordida” or bribe system that exists. As long as people keep offering and depending on this system, corruption can’t end.
I hope to continue learning so much more about the city and country’s political and economic structure in order to further analyze and deduct my own conclusions based on experience.
So it begins…
Several months ago I was applying to summer programs in Barcelona, Milan, and London…. so how the hell did I end up purchasing a flight to Mexico City?
I was at war with myself for several years with an idea of what Mexico was like based on the two small provincial towns that my parents are from as well as the Chicano culture that I grew up around. That was MY version of Mexico and what I knew to be true of Latin America in general.
With that same perception, I began my undergraduate career at The George Washington University. I was fortunate enough to take “Nuevas narrativas en hispanoamerica” with Professor Waisman and a revolution within me commenced. I was exposed to the most brilliantly written pieces of literature that dealt with Magical Realism; the concept mirrored my life at the time. I immersed myself in a world full of history, politics, and art of this volatile land that I was discovering for the first time.
Latin America didn’t only become a regional focus for my major but it evoked a new passion! It became that link that I had been looking for to connect to who I really am and find a serene peace with the ever haunting question “who am I?”
Back to the study abroad application process… I was applying to programs in Europe when I came across AIESEC. Through this organization I was able to seek and apply to internships in Latin America and so this new process began. I was contacted by several committees in Brazil and I was excited to visit the Lusophone country!
At the time I was following the Mexican Presidential Elections very closely and I began to wish that I could be in El Zócalo on the evening of the elections. At that moment all my plans changed, e-mails were exchanged, flights were purchased, and now I wait for Thursdays arrival and the beginning of my adventure on which I plan to “(Re)Disvoer Mexico” ^_^