We made it! After months of planning and prepping, David and I, plus all 9 suitcases, successfully touched down in Mexico City (CDMX). We've now spent just over 48 hours in our new home, and I already have some observations to share. So let's just jump right in, shall we?
First, I want to thank David for his obsessive researching prior to our trip, in particular around what to expect at the airport once we arrived. I will admit that at times I thought his level of worry was unwarranted, however, thanks to his efforts we were through immigration, baggage, and customs within 30 minutes of walking off of the plane. Be on the lookout in the next week for a guest post from David explaining everything he learned.
As I've mentioned in previous posts, we are far from the first young, American couples to make the move to Mexico. In the months leading up to our departure, my research led me to countless bloggers, and YouTube couples whose experiences helped prepare us for what to expect, making our transition into expat living significantly easier. Don't believe me? David and I have yet to argue about anything, and I have yet to have a major meltdown over the frustrations of moving to a new country!
Okay, so on to a few initial observations. Remember, we've only been here for just over 2 days, so these are all small things we've noticed while getting settled.
1. Public trash cans pretty much don't exist. This is only a minor inconvenience, but something I noticed right away.
2. Dogs aren't leashed, however, they all seem well trained (so far). We are not pet people, but have been impressed with how the dogs follow their owners obediently.
3. I am so glad we never have to drive here! If you think NYC, or LA traffic is bad, then come for a visit. You will feel better after seeing the insane car chaos here. Not only are there just way too many cars, but drivers appear to treat using their turn signals as a waste of time. Also, lanes are just a guideline, who knew?
4. Oranges. One of the many things I was was excited about was the potential for delicious fruit in CDMX, and so far it's lived up to my expectations - particularly the oranges. They are levels above anything I have ever eaten back home, but they also have 100% more seeds.
5. Lunch really isn't until at least 2:00. Prior to moving, I read this helpful article on Mexican eating customs, but was unsure how much reality would live up to this example. Well, I'm here to tell you that it does. So I guess our American stomachs are going to need some re-training. Stay tuned.
6. I love not having A/C. Yes, I know I am in a minority with this opinion, but I love opening up the windows in our Airbnb instead of turning on an AC unit. I may change my mind on this point once we hit the middle of summer, but right now, I'm fully enjoying the outside air, even though it comes with hearing everything that goes on in the building.
Changing gears a little bit, David and I have already stumbled on some great places and activities I want to make sure to share.
Colonia San Rafael - This is where our Airbnb is located, and even though it's near to many well-known areas, it doesn't appear to be overrun with tourists. I found this article from Culture Trip helpful to know what's in the area.
Tianguis Sullivan - The closest thing I can think of to a tianguis is a farmers market, but even that comparison doesn't do it justice. Picture your weekend neighborhood market. Now scale it up 2-10 times, and add the smell of Mexican street food. Every colonia (neighborhood) has it's own tianguis (if not more than one) during the week. Tianguis Sullivan is in Colonia San Rafael every Saturday and Sunday, and I'm already in love with it.
El Chivito - A delicious, 100% local, restaurant in San Rafael. David and I dropped in for our first night dinner, and were thrilled with the low prices and authentic food. We were the only non-locals eating, which definitely means it's legit. If you stop by, make sure to try the birria, a traditional stew typically made with goat meat.
Blend Station - Where I'm sitting right this moment actually. A great coffee shop in Colonia Condesa with reliable wifi, and lots of seating.
Mexico Walking Tour - David and I love a good, free walking tour, and this one didn't disappoint. We hopped on the Sunday morning tour of Historic Downtown as a way to kick off our adventure.
I think it's safe to say that our first few days has been a whirlwind of activity, settling in, and lots of errands. We will be sharing as much as we can over the next few weeks about what we've been doing to start our life here; setting up a new phone plan, grocery shopping, figuring out the bus system, and so much more.
Walking enthusiast, and kitchen experimenter currently living out my dream in Mexico City, Mexico.
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