My buddy Javier Burillo was someone who helped me a great deal hen I first moved to Mexico City and like everywhere else on the planet, when you move somewhere new you have to learn a few things in order to get by. Naturally there the language to learn, and in Mexico City there was far less English spoken than I had imagined. Beyond the language however there are certain quirks, certain characteristics which you have to learn about in order to mesh well with the city. Mexico City is somewhere with its own set of rules and here are the things which you need to know.
I can remember very early into my time in the city that I had a meeting to go to in an office which was 6km away. I left 40 minutes before my meeting to get there with some time to spare, and I ended up being just over an hour late. The point here is that you can’t get anywhere fast in Mexico City and that doesn’t matter whether you take the metro, the bus or in a car, perhaps a helicopter would be the smartest option in fact, which of course not many of us can afford.
When I first got here I genuinely thought that people were lying to me about things on purpose, perhaps because I was a foreigner. Little lies for example about how far away a place was or which way to go, were actually super unhelpful. I have since learned however that people do not want to disappoint you and so any answer is better than them saying no when you ask for directions.
i still don’t enjoy it but i have very much become accustomed to the lateness in this part of the world, and I do understand that it is a cultural thing. At first I genuinely took it as a sign of disrespect but in reality it is just the way things are and you have to get used to it, because you are not going to change it no matter how you try. The people are late so when they say 7, expect to wait at least until 730, perhaps even until 8, frustrating but something that is what it is.
If you are going to live here the you had better start learning to enjoy eating plenty of food, because it really does dominate every event and special occasion. A walk down the street and you are guaranteed to find a multitude of restaurants and street food, and that applies to just about every street in the city. Food is a huge part of culture here and whether they are preparing it, eating it or cultivating it, you will certainly find it to be a regular feature throughout the city and the families who live here.
These are your keys to adapting to life in CDMX.