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Travel whale touchand dance with the skeleton:How I moved to Mexico

All new houses are built taking into account seismic activity, so the skyscrapers are reinforced with special beams. Our house was built back in 1970. He stands on the logs, which begin to sway during an earthquake, taking the brunt of the blow (and with them the whole house is shaken, of course). Yes, Mexico City is shaking. The worst earthquake happened here in 1985, only according to official figures, ten thousand people died then. Now a monitoring and warning system is used here: forty to fifty seconds before the jolt, sirens go off, and people from the first floors have the opportunity to run out, and those who live higher – take the safest places in their houses. When we first realized that we were shaking (it seems that the power was about 6.7 points), we rushed to run from our fifth floor, although this should never be done. Then we were the only people who left our multi-storey building. For the fifth time, we finally got used to it and now, as locals, we don’t go anywhere. However, office workers leave buildings without fail, centrally, gathering at special meeting points that are throughout the city. During earthquakes and for a few minutes after, cellular communication usually fails, and helicopters fly over the city looking for possible damage.

Mexico City is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world, but, frankly, compared to Moscow, it is much simpler and unpretentious. Mexicans usually dress in jeans and sneakers, and in small towns, older people still prefer national costumes. Yes, the air here is rather dirty, there is often smog, and because of pollution, cars are not allowed to drive on certain days of the week. But on the other hand, I can sit in my dentist’s office in the city center and look out the window at a squirrel jumping on a tree.

Even in Russia they love to talk about terrible traffic jams in Mexico City. They really are here – but show me a metropolis without traffic jams! And there are also many really affordable parking lots (oh, how difficult it is for a Muscovite to just take and give the valet the keys to his car in exchange for a zero-confidence coupon), two-story toll roads and four-story junctions, and one of the cheapest taxis in the world. Local roads generally came as a shock to me: in the city they are far from ideal, but in the country there are many toll roads of decent quality, although they are expensive. Another shock was getting a driver’s license: in Mexico City, they are officially bought for seven hundred pesos (a little over two thousand rubles), while being able to drive or even knowing the rules is not required at all.

At the same time, Mexico City is a more dangerous city than Moscow, here they are much more often attacked and robbed. If in Russia I calmly moved in the evening by public transport or on foot, here I don’t catch a taxi on the street, I go by metro or metrobus only during the day, and I never use local minibuses at all: they are often robbed. I periodically hear stories of how someone of my acquaintances’ phone or wallet was taken away. And recently, in our calm and safe area, my husband was robbed and threatened with a pistol. The police arrived three minutes after the call, but of course found no one. “The smartest thing you can do is give everything to the robber without resisting. They can shoot without even thinking, ”- this is a universal advice for those who come to Mexico City. Yes, this is unpleasant and even scary, but sitting at home is not an option either, so when we stopped shaking, we seem to have begun to treat this philosophically.