Four Years

There are dates that stick in the memory. Birthdays. Deathdays*. Terrorist attacks. Anniversaries. February 16th is a date that sticks in my memory. In 2011, on that date, I got on a plane and flew back to the UK. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid. Have I made myself clear? I hope so.

Life in Mexico was fun. Every day was an adventure. Every single day. Without exception. In the UK, every day is either a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Preferably one of the latter two, which might turn out to have an adventure of sorts in store. Sometimes. True, there are benefits to living in the UK. There are no doubts about that. I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to turn on a tap and not really be certain whether any water would come out. But certain that if it did, you shouldn’t really drink it. Although I did drink it on more than one occasion without any noticeable side effect. Tis all but part of the adventure.

Since returning to the UK, I’ve droned on about Mexico City to anyone who will listen. I’ve also droned on to anyone who won’t listen. That’s one of the benefits of droning on. It doesn’t really matter if anyone listens or not. It’s a pitiful form of self therapy, but it relieves the withdrawal pangs.

It doesn’t, I fear, give anyone a real idea about why Mexico is such a fabulous little patch of planet Earth. I’ve shared videos over the years on this blog, and I watch some of them sometimes. I sometimes think that opening YouTube and entering Mexico City in the search box is the equivalent of a smoker having a sneaky cigarette when he’s trying to quit. Naughty but nice.

Sadly, most videos show only one facet of the city. It either dwells on the poverty or crime, or on the history and developed parts of the city. If ever there has been one video that almost, almost, captures the Mexico City I lived in, it’s the one I’ve embedded below. Perhaps you’ve seen it before. But it’s so well done, it’s nice to see again, isn’t it. It’s a government sponsored creation. Who’d have thunk that a political/tourist motivated bit of work would best capture the Mexico City that I lived in? No, it misses out a lot of the warts. But truth be told, I did my best to miss out on the warts too, when I lived there.

  • Deathdays. Why does no one use this word? It’s such a logical choice. I claim copyright.

19 thoughts on “Four Years

  1. I know the feeling. I never stayed there as long as you did, just off and on spurts of going to school there, but it was enough to hook me. I droned on about Guadalajara so much that my entire family ended up going there with me one at a time.

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  2. I’ve lived in Merida Yucatan for the past 9 years and will soon be in Mexico City for my first visit. Gads, the stuff geared towards tourists scares the pants off you, don’t do this, watch out for that, be careful of this, don’t, don’t, don’t. we need more oeople telling to do, do, do! Get thee back!

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    1. You’re right, Mexico City does need ambassadors of sorts. Through blogging or otherwise. So many people are put off by all the scare stories. I know of at least three people who have visited Mexico City after contacting me through my blog to have their fears assuaged. I can’t claim to be the sole reason they took the plunge, but I’m sure a few words of encouragement from someone who lives in the thick of it helps a lot.

      And I’d love to go back. In a heartbeat. I always assumed the next trip there would be my return for ever. Alas, it will only be a holiday. I’d like to do it this year, but finances won’t allow I’m afraid! Priorities…

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    1. Yes, the English winter blues! Actually, I remember stepping off the plane at Heathrow very well. Leaden grey skies and drizzle. I rather wanted to jump back on a plane and return there and then. I’d bought a return flight because, of course, that is cheaper than a single. I gave serious consideration to making use of that return ticket. But that would have been unfair on Mrs P, to end her adventure before she had even arrived.

      Everyone liked the Mexile when it was Mexico based. The statistics page on my blog makes that crystal clear.

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  3. Great video! My friends here have a hard (or impossible) time understanding the allure of Mexico City. That video does a good job of capturing some of it, but you really have to experience it to get it.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are ruing the fact that we aren’t there now.

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  4. You and Kim have completely reversed my feelings about Mexico City. Well, my visits have also played a part. I love the place, and get there as often as I can.

    The video is one of the best promotional pieces I have seen. I may just steal it for an essay of my own.

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    1. I still fail to understand how you came to choose the coast to put in roots when you had Mexico City as an option! 🙂 But then, I suspect if ever I get to visit your neck of the woods, I will come to appreciate its charms and then some.

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  5. What do I remember most about DF? The policeman who guided lost me to the exit to the south, and would not accept a tip; the playing of soothing classical music in the Metro Station; wandering around Polanko and thinking it was so like San Franciso; the man who bumped into me on a Metro train (pickpocket?) and then offered me his seat; it’s multicultural quality–even being a light-skinned blonde, I never felt conspicuously “foreign.” In fact, I was presumed by others to speak Spanish!!

    Fortunately, for me, I chose MĂ©rida. (Turns out that my health needs preclude cold weather and high altitude.) But I sure concur–Mexico City is marvelous!

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    1. As a Brit, I find it hard to ever believe that Mexico City could be considered cold! But if you’re coming at it from a Merida based perspective….well, I’ve been in Merida in June. I see your point! And it is at a high altitude, no doubts about it.

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  6. Oh you make my longing grow even more. I will be going back to Mexico soon, but to San Miguel Allende this time. I’m not sure I will ever return to the DF. When I was there I was young and carefree….not so much anymore on either count. Do all in your power to go back while you’re still young. This video is amazing.

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    1. I don’t think you ever get too old for Mexico City. If you’ve grown tired of DF, you’ve grown tired of life. This may have originally been said of another city that I’m fond of, but it works just as well.

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