A few weeks ago, I woke up at around 9 PM.
Another night of working during late hours with a bottle of vodka next to the side of me…
Then falling asleep at around 2 PM more or less.
Once I woke up, my head felt strange like normal and dehydrated a bit.
I roll around to the side in my bed trying to go back to sleep..
But I really have to take a long piss and it forces me out of bed.
Stumbling to the bathroom, I hit my foot on one of the steps going to the next floor…
Before making my way into the bathroom…
And the hangover honestly isn’t that bad in the grand scheme of things.
It’s relatively calm.
Once I’m done, I walk on over to the kitchen and pour myself some black tea to hydrate myself.
And look at my watch – it was more or less about 9:40 PM.
Now keep in mind that I am in Roma Norte right now.
I used to live in El Centro for a tiny bit and I could get food at very late hours into like 2 or 3 AM or even later.
But, for whatever reason, even the street food vendors seem to be closing up shop at like 10 PM around me.
And the restaurants do for sure.
They seem stricter in this part of Mexico City about getting places to close – most of them anyway.
So I get my pants on and head out quickly to get some food.
Once outside, I walk around the corner and head closer to Metro Insurgentes area.
But I see some street vendors before I cross by Metro Insurgentes so I check it out.
The torta place I normally go to was closing up as I walked up to it.
The next one?
Some dude who calls his stand “Tortas de Alex” or something like that…
Isn’t even open and hasn’t been open for a while now.
Not sure if he died or something – where the hell is he?
He always could make a good torta.
Well, I walk back and think that a lot of the restaurants by Rosa neighborhood should be about closed anyway.
And I don’t want a hotdog or a hamburger from the street vendors there – which literally all of them sell just that from last I checked.
Maybe I could buy some pasta and cook myself something from an Oxxo or something.
But then I pass by a dude selling tortas for 20 pesos a piece.
They usually sell for 40 to 50 but this dude was selling them for 20.
Granted, they were half the size of most other torta places so it evens out.
Still, he seems like my last hope to not have to buy a hotdog or cook at home.
“Got any chicken?” I ask.
“No. Only pork.”
I look at the pork he has to put on the torta and it honestly doesn’t look that appealing.
“eh…fuck it. Sure.”
“Yup, just one.”
He begins getting it ready…
“Hey Bro, Got Any Change? I Need Crack.”
In like a minute later, another dude walks up to me.
Now keep in mind that there are a handful of homeless folks all along the street that I am on with all of these street vendors.
One homeless dude I saw who seemed to lost his legs and is in a wheelchair.
Some alcoholic looking type sleeping on the ground with a big ass beard and with a look of pain in his face.
Some pregnant looking chick.
And various young looking folks who couldn’t be older than 25.
Well, this was one of them.
A young looking Mexican guy who was probably 20 years old or so.
Medium brown skin with short black hair.
About my height more or less – at about 5’9 but just a tiny bit shorter than me.
He had a blue normal looking shirt on with black pants.
And, like I said, a very young looking face.
Seemingly drunk too in how he was talking and walked up to me.
Seemed like he was on something anyway.
But the guy walks up to me and asks in Spanish or what seemed like Spanglish “Te gusta beat box?”
Granted, I’m not sure if Mexicans have their own word for “beat box” in Spanish but who knows.
“No” I respond.
He then looks to the ground and starts beat boxing in front of me anyway.
But it really wasn’t much of a beat box – coming from a non-experts opinion on beat boxing.
Seemed pretty lame.
Then he starts mumbling something and I didn’t catch it.
To which he looks at me for a second like I’m supposed to respond but he just mumbled it out incoherently.
Whatever it was.
To which then he asks me “tienes unas monedas?”
“Do you have any change?”
I reach into my pocket and pull out the only coin I had on person – a 2 peso coin.
I had about 40 pesos more but I needed it to buy my food – 20 for the torta and 20 for a bag of chips.
Anyway, he looks at the 2 peso coin and asks “more?” in Spanish.
To which I obviously don’t have any more – I didn’t plan on bringing much money with me outside that night.
And he goes on begging for more and won’t drop it – and starting to give me a bad vibe also.
From the second I met him, he seemed a bit “out of it.”
But there was something about him in my mind that I wasn’t sure about.
Anyway, torta guy is done with the food.
The homeless guy asks me again but in English this time because I guess he assumed I didn’t understand his word for “Mas?”
Despite me telling him several times in Spanish I got nothing more.
But he says in English “10 dollars.”
Which is a bit funny – probably why the guy is harassing me more than he would a local perhaps.
A local would give him maybe 2 to 10 pesos at most and that’d be fine.
But the gringo?
“oh, 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars, cmon gringo!!! Se que tienes un chingo de dinero wey!!! Dame el ORO pinche viejo!!!!”
Like this street hustler I met a few years ago near el Centro on Valentines Day trying to sell me a balloon for 20 dollars despite most places selling them for a buck or two on that same day.
It never surprises me anymore when a local sees and treats me like an ATM machine.
And I stand out for being the foreigner in the area and they start harassing me and/or getting aggressive.
Like this guy here who starting yelling at me to give him money some months ago…
Well, I ignore the guy’s request for “10 dollars.”
Like I’d have 10 dollars anyway – I ain’t a tourist only spending a few days here.
But the torta guy is ready and I pull out a 20.
To which the homeless guy taps me on the shoulder and tries convincing me to exchange my 20 peso note for the 2 pesos I gave him.
“No chico, necesito comer tambien.”
To which he just looks at me with his mouth open and an empty look in his eyes.
And as I reach over to hand the 20 peso note to the torta guy, the homeless dude leans in to try and grab it from my hand.
To which I push him back while handing the torta dude his 20 and grabbing my sandwich.
The homeless guy then mumbles some shit under his breath – something along the lines of “pinche pendejo.”
And that’s when I notice the guy for a second – or something tells me to pay attention.
When I see him digging into all of his pockets looking for something.
And my initial thought was he either is putting his money away or pulling something out.
But because the guy was getting more aggressive by this point – I was thinking the latter.
It felt like I was watching him for two minutes digging into his 50 pockets looking for some shit as he had my full attention now.
But it was probably more like 10 seconds at most.
Especially as my mind was now going off “what if this motherfucker pulls out a weapon or some shit?”
The Fight of a Life for 20 Pesos & a Torta
And then he pulls out a knife!
A small ass knife though to be fair.
Not like some machete type shit and no gun either.
But the dude pulls out a knife right away.
I hear the torta guy gasp saying some shit but I didn’t catch it because none of my attention was on him at this point.
The second I see the knife being pulled out, I drop the torta onto the metal counter where people can place their food and drinks.
And grab the dude by the hand that he pulled his knife out with.
And, to be honest, this is the part of the story that is most foggy in my head.
I just sorta “reacted” instantly.
I didn’t think about what to do – just do it.
But I know I grabbed the dude by the arm that had the knife.
And I suppose I was going to try and wrestle the knife away from him.
Which, to be fair, goes against the advice typically given – don’t fight back, give what they want.
Your life is worth more than the 20 pesos and a torta he would have stolen from me.
And that is entirely accurate!
I always thought about how I would react if someone did pull a weapon on me.
Because knowing myself, I always have been worried that I would just naturally not do that.
I can get pretty aggressive with folks if I feel someone is trying to fuck with me and they have pissed me off assumingly.
Just to defend myself and not let people treat me like shit.
Less about the money and more about standing up for your self.
But obviously – standing up for yourself is very risky.
The dude could have stabbed me and hurt me quite badly.
Had he had a gun, he could have killed me.
So I’m not recommending folks try to fight back necessarily – yes, your life is worth more than 20 pesos and a small ass torta.
Regardless, fought back I did.
But it wasn’t much of a fight.
I guess I was going to try and wrestle the dude for his knife and force it out of his hands before beating the shit out of him.
And maybe that is a fair assumption given the dude was skinny as fuck – literally bare bones.
And just slightly smaller than me too – and quite young looking also.
While truthfully, thinking back on it, I don’t think this guy had much experience mugging people.
I don’t think he had the confidence to do so initially or else wouldn’t he have just pulled it on me from the start before asking for money?
I don’t know.
I would assume so.
Like I said, my memory is the foggiest when recalling every single second of this 5 second struggle over his knife.
It happened quite quickly.
I grabbed his arm tightly that was holding the knife…
And punched him in the face once.
And then I remember vaguely aiming to grab his shirt
But in the 5 second struggle more or less, right after I tried to grab his shirt, he fell to the side almost where he seemed to have lost his balance for whatever reason.
I’m guessing the fact that he seemed “out of it” – drunk or on something – probably helped me in him losing his balance.
You can say that the punch might have knocked him down but I remember vaguely him losing his balance the second I grabbed his arm.
But it all happened so fast so this is a rough memory of what happened as the details are more vague in my head.
Either way, the second he fell to the ground…
I immediately grabbed my sandwich and pissed right off to where my apartment was.
While looking over my shoulder once or twice to make sure he wasn’t going to follow me to start shit again.
Was the Torta Any Good?
Anyway, before getting into my place…
I stop by a 7-11 to by some chips like I said before…
And to my luck – not only did someone try mugging me but the computer they used was having technical difficulties!
So I had to wait maybe 10 minutes while my sandwich is getting cold…
Got the chips anyway…
Back to my place…
I couldn’t even finish the torta – another bad moment for the day – the pork tasted like shit.
So I finish my chips.
It’s probably closer to 10:20 ish…
Anyway, I dump the torta after eating half of it…
And go back outside to where there is at the very least one hotdog/hamburger place around the corner of where I live that usually stays open a tiny bit longer than most of the other street vendors in this neighborhood.
Fuck it – I’ll get the hotdog that I was trying to avoid at the start of this adventure because I’m hungry and the torta was absolute shit.
The hotdog was OK though.
All around, not the best night.
Some young dude trying to mug me.
Couldn’t even get a good torta.
Machine at the 7-11 broke.
Or as I call 7-11 to my friends here when I tell them we should stop by one to purchase some vodka – “vamos a siete once va?”
Well, at least my hangover wasn’t too bad that day.
And that’s the story!
First time for everything – after almost 6 years down here – someone finally tried mugging me.
I broke a cherry!
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