Mexico, home of Tacos and Burritos! But let me tell you, Mexico food 99% has pork in it. So, sorry to say that, you won’t be getting any chances to try their street food although it smells damn good!
But, just like any other trip and visit, you can’t help it but to find a taste to remember. Since I can’t eat the street foods which smells darn so good, I still find my way to find Mexico’s taste to remember. Which is… the fruit!
To be specific – is a mango. The mango here isn’t any sweeter than the one that grown in South East Asia. But the additional ingredient they put in it will blown your mind away. It’s lime juice, curry and paprika powder!!!!
I never tried any other fruit though. But I think lime juice, curry and paprika powder are best with mango.
with 20 – 35 peso (different fruit stall, different price) you will get generous 1 and half mango in a cup mixed with all the good ingredients. Actually they have more option for you to add into those fruit slices. Such as chili paste, some look like asam jawa paste (tamarind paste), salt etc etc. But I am worry I will pee my but with such combination with my mango. Then after a few days I learned that, the Mexican sprinkle lime juice and paprika/ chilly powder in everything! In snacks, food, drinks, everything!
And, if you visit Mexico city, you can’t help it but notice few things in every corner of the block, it’s everywhere!
1) The shoe shine kiosk
I also, learned that walking in shining shoes is very important to the people here. It is so important, you can see people get their shoes shine every minute, every where. But the shoe shine kiosk here are very nice. They make you sit on a high chair with shades like in the picture above.
and the green thing here is Pedicab. If Thailand has Tuktuk, Malaysia has Beca, Mexico has Pedicab. It can fit 2 people at the back and it is powered by – pedaling. Kayuh macam beca jugak. But looks more fancy kan? I really wanted to try to ride in one of this. But knowing my husband is a walker, he don’t even bother at this thing with one eye. All I did is walked around town with my two feet, we walked and walked to the distance which we supposed to take the train 🙁 Trust me, he made me walked to somewhere which the distance is 6 train stops. How about that? Pedicab? Forget about it.
The security guard also is one of prominent client in this shoe shining industry. While other security guard in the world taking a break by puffing some cigarettes, here, they go get their boots shine?
2) Street stalls
It’s everywhere. Macam pasar malam tiap tiap hari, day and night (like a night market). From snacks and food to flowers, souvenirs and sexy legging pants. Watch, sunglasses, sport shoes, books, music records, PLAYBOY MAGAZINES and novel, you name it. They have it all. Macam Jalan Masjid India gitu, but cleaner.
Besides local leather products, Tengkorak manusia pun ada kau.
I was looking for used book/ second hand book about Aztec History and Civilization, but too bad, the books here are all in Spanish. The title and author may be printed in English on the book cover, but the content is pure Espanol.
3) Eco Bicycles/ ECOBICI stations
Like other cities in WESTERN world, they always find their ways to improve the air quality . Bukan main biar je jerubu melanda.. asik asik dok bagi tau bacaan API (Air Pollution Index) lepas tu suruh pakai mask kan. So in Mexico city, they provide EcoBici for you to go to work, classes or even touring around the city with some charges. You need to sign up for membership like a rental agreement and must return the bicycle by at the end of the day which is midnight. Kalau kat Malaysia mesti dah bawak balik rumah kan.. macam shopping trolli Giant tu.. You dont have to return the bicycle at the same pick up station. The nearest station will do. They have like hundreds of it around the city. For more info of ECOBICI you can read here. Aku cakap banyak pun bukan mereka bayo aku promote benda alah ni kan.
4) Wall Graffiti.
Wall graffiti is not considered as vandalism here. In fact, they use graffiti art on the wall and building to replace ‘sign board’ and advertisement board.
If you ever been to LA (Los Angeles) downtown area, you will feel the similarity between these two cities. Then my husband told me – “of course! Part of California was belong to Mexico back then. In fact Arizona and Texas too. So, If you ever made it to California, you have been to Mexico. Hehe.
5) Polica and guardia de securidad (Police and Security Guard) – No picture attached. Gila kau nak ambik gambar polis bertugas.
I never been into city with so many sights of Police officer and Security Guard. They walked around with guns and bullet proof vest and yet still throw a friendly smile to tourists. It is like 4 security guards/ police per 1 people here in Mexico City. So, if you ask me, is it safe to come to Mexico City. My answer is YES. lol.
Well, yes, Mexico is dangerous due to drug war and gang business – according to the media. But I can’t say it is 100% safe for you to wander around Mexico City off the touristy path. And this applies to any other country too, Kuala Lumpur included. Cuma di KL, polis dia mintak duit dengan orang bila ada buat salah. However, in term of city escape, I love it here.
It was such a pleasant experience to walk around Mexico City. Yes the traffic is no difference than any other cities in the world, but it has botanical parks and trees along the road. Plus the cooling weather in January helps too. Litter or cigarettes butt no where to be found, it is a clean city like Singapore but chewing gum permitable. And I don’t think Mexico City imposed a crazy fine for littering like Singapore, which means, as bad as we heard the news and stories about Mexico, they are living and thinking as 1st world country. Oh, their public toilet is clean and dry too.
The art sculptures here are like lamp post in KL. I always one of the lousy (photographer wanna be) who likes to take pictures of statues and sculptures but here, it has millions of it, until I had to skip it or else pictures inside my camera will be nothing but statues (and me with my boring pose)
We were lucky because we were staying at REFORMA ZONA (reforma area), so every touristy spot is within 10 – 30 minutes walk. As usual, I will write about hotel and suggestion of where to stay later on in the next, next post.
Just behind our hotel, there is a park called Alameda Central Park – where you can consider as one of the spot you must visit or pass by. It has more fountains with statues and sculptures than any cities I visited so far. The parks and buildings here is so effortlessly beautiful and we stumbled two or three couples complete with wedding attire for their wedding photoshoot around this city.
Oh, by the way, I have to take picture of this statue because from this angle, it looks like something serious going on. Ha!
Next to the park is this beautiful building called Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) Sapa sapa yang feeling kelas atasan understand fine arts and ballet performance boleh lah masuk sini. Kami tak masuk pun. we passes by this building like EVERYDAY. And everyday, I can’t help but stop by and take picture with it, day and night. It seems like it is getting more beautiful every time you pass by it. Built in the late 19th century, The exterior of the building is primarily Neoclassical and Art Nouveau and the interior is primarily Art Deco. The building is best known for its murals by Diego Rivera, Siqueiros and others, as well as the many exhibitions and theatrical performances its hosts, including the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico. (Source Wikipedia)
Opposite Palacio de Bellas Artes is Avenue Juarez. 20 storey (I think so) Sears and more shopping complex, franchise restaurants which makes you feel like ‘home’ – Krispy Creme, KFC, Subway, TGIF, Chillies, Mc Donalds, Carl’s Junior, you name it ada di situ. Disebabkan permandangan tersebut sama je macam dekat Lot 10 (but cleaner, tak ada kon kon construction yang mana, tak silap aku dah berbelas tahun dekat junction segitiga emas KL tu), So I don’t really spend much time taking photos at that area.
But if you stick to Palacio de Bellas Artes side, walk straight and do some road crossing from the left side of the building, you will be heading to the most beautiful and interesting part of the city – Centro Historico (Historic Center of Mexico City) where you can see Mexico National Palace, Mexico City Cathedral, Templo Mayor ruins, more museums and more UNESCO World Heritage site in one place.
This section of the capital has just over nine square km and occupies 668 blocks. It contains 9,000 buildings, 1,550 of which have been declared of historical importance. Most of these historic buildings were constructed between the 16th and 20th centuries. It is divided into two zones for preservation purposes. Zone A encompasses the pre-Hispanic city and its expansion from the Viceroy period until Independence. Zone B covers the areas all other constructions to the end of the 19th century that are considered indispensable to the preservation of the area’s architectural and cultural heritage. This is where the Spaniards began to build what is now modern Mexico City in the 16th century on the ruins of the conquered Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire. As the center of the ancient Aztec Empire and the seat of power for the Spanish colony of New Spain, the Centro Historico contains most of the city’s historic sites from both eras as well as a large number of museums. This has made it a World Heritage Site. (Source Wikipedia).
Well, when we talk about Aztec, Inca, Mayans, Roman and Egyptian, you know everything they built back then is out of this world. Their work and civilization was so advance, some theories concluded them were not from our planet earth. Extraterrestrial gitu. Berapa la agaknya bacaan IQ depa ni. 8 days visit to Mexico City do not give you enough time to take details of crook and corners of this city. People who lived here are so lucky to live on the surface where Aztec empire existed before.
After for almost 600 years, Mexican still have artsy bone inside their body. If you pay close attention to the street artists here, kalah pemenang Akademi Fantasia, Mentor dan apa kejadah artis hasil dari reality show combined together.
As you stroll around, you will start to notice that Mexican has the Malay look! But Filipinos has the exact features as Mexican. Except, Mexican female teenagers have a weird shape body like, um, they gave birth to 5 kids? The belly they have is totally men’s beer belly. (sorry ok, just my observations). Artis artis dalam soap drama yang korang dok tengok dalam TV tu…apa kenama nya? Rosalinda? Itu dari Puerto Rico or Columbia ke something. Bukan Mexico lah.
As you walked deeper to this part of the city, you manage to see locals’ scene. At this moment of time it was like locals taking a lunch break. Along this streets you can smell nothing but delicious food cooking.
So many museo (museum) and churches, I started to lose count and forget all the name of every building that I took pictures of.
and if your walking tour took the right turn, you will see rows and rows local textiles shop which I believed, will drive Malaysian ladies go crazy and spend all their money here. Not me though, nak pakai pegi mana lace lace ni.. zaman kenduri kawin couture mengalahkan pengantin atas pelamin dah over.
Don’t be surprised, the price tag is in Mexico Peso Dollar. They use the same sign as USD $. So, shopping is affordable in this city for Malaysian. Meh la. Boring kan asik Bandung, Guangzhou…
Pheww, I this this is the longest photoblog post I ever done so far. I have more to tell about my visit to Mexico City. So, watch out this space.
to be continued….