So much of Mexico City is unambiguously great: the people, the history, the food, the buzz. But few people will move here without thinking twice about some of the perceived drawbacks, like crime, pollution, transportation and the danger of earthquakes. I lived in London for most of my life and know that the media stuff around personal risk in cities is often overblown.
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But even so, I was pretty cautious when I first got to Mexico City. This may be because of my personal rule that the more conscious you are about the risks, the less likely something is to happen. There is, however, one rule that rightly or wrongly has stuck with me: stay out of Doctores! The air pollution can feel quite oppressive at first.
In the U. Similarly, water quality here is pretty bad. Despite being originally a lake gradually drained away by the Spaniardsand receiving more fresh rainfall than London, clean water has to be pumped here from up to km away. The whole purification and transportation process from plant to home is so fraught with contamination that even Mexicans rely on bottled or purified water. You will need to, also, if you want to save your stomach some trouble. Moving around the city sometimes demands a zen-like mindset.
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The problem is that with a population of 21 million and growing, whatever capacity is added gets consumed by increased demand. Replacing the old stock with shiny new trams is great except the new ones are two-thirds the capacity of the old ones, which has meant worse crowding than before.
Even worse, not all drivers have mastered their new vehicles. I recently stood in a packed trolebus that lurched forward after every stop, hurling passengers into one another, while an elderly woman gave an amusing commentary on the uselessness of the system. But as much as these quirks can be infuriating, mastering the public transport system makes you feel a part of the city in a way Uber never could.
While transport and air pollution are improving, the unchanging variable in CDMX is its unique location on a plateau surrounded by mountains over 6, ft high, on top of an ancient lake. Public safety instructions are ubiquitous, which contributes to a slight underlying sense of jeopardy. The earthquake was completely devastating, but the event weirdly occurring on the anniversary of the former, 19 September thankfully less so due to better pre-planned resilience and emergency response.
Less dramatic, but probably more impactful, is altitude. You absolutely have to stay hydrated, as the greater demands of oxygen drain the water from your body. Combined with the other daily hazards, this means you often have to think through your daily activity plans in advance and sometimes be less ambitious about what you can do in a day. So, this is the negative side of CDMX, which hopefully gives you an honest overview of living in the city.
I live in San Miguel and have visited Mexico City many times. In my experience, your assesment is accurate. Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment. .
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