Cultural Experiences, Mexico City
speaking spanish and never using any of my english was the greatest fun of all. i'm a language maniac and just found mexico to be the right place when i could 'foresake' english for a while. i had my spanish guidebook with me and found it very useful. you could still find english spoken in hotels and tourist spots but i liked it that even the bank staff spoke spanish only (in my experience).
spanish is a very fun and easy language. it just speaks of the spirit of its native speakers; easygoing, friendly and honest, so i felt and picked up the language with a finger snap;^)
here are some words for you to indulge your spanish senses:
- Do you speak English?: Hablo Ingles?
- restaurant: restorante
- cash: caja
- toilet: baño
- good morning: buenos dias
- good evening: buenas tardes
- fast: rapido
- slow: lento
- expensive: cara
- cheap: barato
- hungry: hambre
- thirsty: sed
- stop: alto
- pass: passe
- street: calle
- next (week): proxima
- last: pasada
- right: derecha
- left: izquierde
- to walk: camino
- excuse me (permission to pass e.g): permiso
- you are very kind: usted es muy amable
- i like Mexico: me gusta mexico
- this hurts: me duele
- today: hoy
- yesterday: ayer
- tomorrow: mañana
- monday: lunes, tuesday: martes, wednesday: miercoles, thursday: jueves, friday: viernes, saturday: sabado, sunday: domingo
Fondest memory: on my way to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, i met with a lovely family; a mother and two daughters. as i understood, they were from santa cruz and spoke no english. they kept me a good company for the whole day, and so we were passionately speaking in spanish...can you imagine what this would look like? lol
we together climbed up the first pyramid for snapping photos. then i convinced her with my superior espanol that we'd go to the other pyramids in order to get some 'energia' for our spirits. Titi, the mother, felt very tired but as soon as i raised up my arms high in the air and uttering 'energia', she felt all passionate and energetic again to do another 'alto' climbing:D
the fun yet interesting part, i've met a couple of mexicans who kept correcting my spanish 'grammar'. very keen for me to speak proper spanish.
Fondest memory: Between the Zocalo and the Temple Mayor, you will likely find dancers dressed up Aztec warriors. Notice the chalk on the sidewalk forming Aztec symbols. It's as close as you're ever going to come to actual Aztec culture.
Fondest memory: Just outside the National Museum of Anthropology you can catch one of the performances by the Volodores. These colourfully dressed men spiral upside down from a pole 60 feet in the air while only attached by a rope around one ankle. One lucky guy gets to play a flute at the top until all members reach the bottom. This is well worth watching if you have not seen it before. They do it roughly every 15 minutes.
Favorite thing: The varied elements of this region stem partly from its history as one of the richest silver mining areas in the Spanish empire, ehere the wast wealth of the Europeans who profited from the silver stood in contrast to the men who worked the mines and the native Indian tribes who scrathed out a living here.
Near the Cathedral, at Monte de Piedad, you can see a row of men. Well these men all represent different professions like electrician, painter, plumber, bricklayer . . .
So in fact it looks like a public Interim office. If you need a certain job to be done at your home, over here you can rent a handyman. I believe this is really practical.
Fondest memory: I really loved to walk around in Mexico City, and taste the smalls of the local life.
Favorite thing: People, as photography is one of my hobbies, I just love to make pictures of people. One thing, if you want to make pictures of people in Mexico, first ask this people if it is allowed to make a picture. Because it is kind of rude to start photographing as a paparazzi. Do not forget, you are not on a safari, be gentle and ask permission. (And in fact, this is not only for Mexico)
Favorite thing: Of course when you walk in a big city, you also see the not so beautiful things of our modern society, like poverty and homeless. As we passed this little park, El Jardin de la Solidaridad, we saw people camping in plastic self-made tents, our guide told us that it was kind of a demonstration of some homeless.
I did have some time to do some shopping. There are many shopping malls around the city and prices were incredibly low.
Instead of bying only one dress, I made the owner of one shop very happy by bying four or was six dresses. All staff members were bowing (this is true) when I left the store.
And how good did I feel myself knowing how little money I spent but how much I gave to that store, maybe they even closed it for the rest of the day and left home :-)!
Those dresses were totally not planned but couldn't resist!
Of course a bottle of genuine tequila but no sombrero!
Favorite thing: Between the Constitution Square and the Temple Mayor, you find the Plaza de Mayor. This is a very lively place with lot of entertainment and merchants. Amusing all day and evening is for sure. I put special a travelogue for “Plaza Mayor” as I am planning to see more entertainment over there.
Visit Coyoacan at afternoon or night. There are some bars very mexican style. Visit Xochimilco and have a ride with your friends in this 'mexican venezia'. Go and visit Teotihuacan piramids near Mexico City, the sun piramid is the biggest of the world at its base. Visit garibaldi to hear mariachis and have some tequila. Visit many nightclubs this city never sleeps.
Fondest memory: The food!! and cheap Corona beer
Walk and get in contact with the people.
Fondest memory: I have lived here almost all my life, I grew up here and the city taught me how to move around, find it useful to grow in a city so big as almost no city in the world seems dangerous or complicated.
Fondest memory: Being there at Christmas time was magical - the largest xmas tree I have ever seen in my life, and bigger than life size decoration donkeys and other christmassy characters - all quite mad really! And every building boardering the main square had the largest, illuminated decorations adorning them too.
Try ordering a tamarind margarita (margarita tamarindo in Spanish) when you are here. They are really delicious. Not too sweet and not too sour, way better than lime and something you definitely can't get back home.
Have some premium tequila too. In Mexico it is often served with tomato juice on the side. You sip the tequila and the juice. Don Julio is my favorite brand. You'll never want to drink the cheap stuff again.
Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in the world, is hard to name just one place to visit if it´s your first time in here, all i can say is you´ll find everything you want, we have museums,arqueological sites,culture,the best nightclubs, and lot´s of TEQUILA!!!!
Fondest memory: I think that what i miss the most is the people, Mexican People is like so cool, we´re friendly and we are open to anyone that visits us. I would also miss a sunny and beautiful day watching the mountains around the city.
Favorite thing: Everywhere you look, the ubiquitous VW bug. They still make them to original specs down there, apparently, b/c they're everywhere.