About last week, I went to take a shower in my apartment by Politecnico of Mexico City.
It was roughly 9 or 10 PM.
Once the water got going, I heard a sound not too far from me outside the kitchen here that is in front of the shower.
The sound of some gunshots.
Now, to be fair, it’s easy to see how some gringo can confuse gunshots for fireworks during this time of the year in Mexico City as there’s apparently some religious celebration today as you can see here.
However, the noise I heard as I got in the shower didn’t sound like fireworks.
As I turned the water on and waited a few seconds for it to turn hot, I immediately heard a burst of what sounded like numerous gun shots going off near me.
It was loud enough to make me think that it was literally right outside the apartment building.
Given that the apartment is considerably high up, there was obviously no need to get down.
Not likely for any stray bullets to hit me at this level up here.
Still, given the loudness of it all and how rapid the shots were, it did catch me for a surprise briefly.
And the sound of more bullets soon followed for probably a minute?
I have no idea how long it went on for as I wasn’t keeping track but let’s say a minute or two.
Then it stopped.
There was other commotion outside from what I could hear but I obviously didn’t go outside naked to check.
Nor, if I’m being honest, did I care that much about it.
Given how extra loud the noise and how seemingly close the noise was, it did catch my attention for the brief moment.
But when it was over, it was over.
I went back to taking a shower and that was it.
Truth me told, it wasn’t that noteworthy.
But, at the same time, I’ve grown accustomed to hearing strange shit outside by now.
A Shooting Outside
On the opposite side of Mexico City, I was living by Copilco area.
Literally right outside where Metro Copilco is.
It’s not at all a rough area.
A little bit nicer than where I live right now as I write this (Politecnico area).
Still, I remember laying in bed scrolling through my phone when I heard a bunch of noise outside.
It’s a brief story I told before in some other article on this website.
But it’s not much of a story if I’m being honest.
From what I could tell, someone got shot outside my apartment.
Then the dude drove away.
Similar to the shower incident in Politecnico, the noise of the shots was pretty loud and enough to get me off my ass to be concerned for a second.
“What the fuck is that?” type of reaction.
Then the shots end and commotion continues outside by common folks yelling or some shit.
And soon enough life goes back to normal for most folks outside of those most affected.
Honestly, it was only the initial moment that caught my attention.
Mostly because of how loud the shots sounded.
Once it was over, it was over and I stopped giving a shit mostly.
And I emphasize the word “mostly.”
It did make me more alert to my surroundings when I left my apartment.
Just in the odd chance I found myself between two people shooting at each other or some shit.
Though, if we’re being honest, that’s so unlikely that it probably isn’t ever going to be an issue.
Yes – some folks say that and then it happens to them.
Always got to be careful.
But, if we’re being honest, it probably isn’t going to happen.
Still, the moment did make me want to be more “observant” when outside.
But, for the most part, it didn’t realty affect anything about my life down here.
Similar to how, despite hearing what sounded like a lot of shots fired in the shower by Politecnico, I moved on in life.
And I wonder if that lack of concern is tied to something else.
“Outside of the Narcos Killing Someone Outside Your Apartment….”
The reason I write this is because, to some degree, I wonder how much living in Latin America impacts your sense of security versus living back home.
I can say that I am definitely more aware of my surroundings than when I lived in Iowa before my time down here.
Almost 10 years ago actually.
I’d say that’s a fair statement anyhow.
While every gringo has a different life down here with different amount of income to afford a different life than what other gringos can bring to the table, I do think plenty of us gain a heightened sense of awareness about our surroundings from living down here.
For myself, that’s a true statement.
So I might be projecting onto other gringos but I think it’s generally true.
On top of that, I think it’s safe to say that the sense of what is dangerous changes.
For example, I was talking with my sister a few months ago and she seemed a little bit more concerned than I was about this apparent shooting outside of Copilco area.
Our conversation generally focused on the safety of Mexico City.
And she said something (paraphrasing) to the effect of “well, outside of someone being shot by the narcos outside your apartment, I guess it’s safe…”
Which I obviously had to correct her – how does she know it was some cartel doing that shooting?
Maybe it was just a local gangbanger who rapes hoes and kills bitches?
NOT EVERY GANGBANGER IS A CARTEL MEMBER. SPREAD THE WORD.
In all seriousness, I think we just understood it differently.
Granted, being my sister, I get maybe she’d have an extra sense of concern for my safety and all that.
Folks who aren’t you maybe do than you do for yourself.
Or something like that.
Still, I think also that, after hearing enough gun shots outside, you get used to it.
Not saying I got a war going outside my house every day.
But, for various reasons, I began living in more “interesting” neighborhoods over a year ago.
And, compared to my time in say Roma Norte or Condesa, you definitely hear more “activity” outside than before.
For me, it’s whatever at this point.
It never bothered me much though unless it sounded loud enough like it was literally outside my apartment.
Like in the shower by Politecnico.
Then it has my attention for roughly 2 minutes and 13 seconds.
But that’s the point anyway – at least in my experience, your standards of “safety” adjust after enough time down here versus how it was when you lived back home.
And I think that’s true for most gringos – not just those like myself who live in “more questionable” neighborhoods.
Unless said gringo is coming from a bad part of Chicago or Detroit anyway, they probably do gain a “higher tolerance” for questionable moments.
But, as I hinted at, this “higher tolerance” varies by said gringo according to their experiences down here and where they live.
For some, like myself, a few gunshots in the distance is no longer concerning.
A few gunshots that sound like they are outside your window below you?
Well, you might pause for a second from putting shampoo in your hair to listen to what is happening outside.
Then life goes back to normal.
Normal assuming you didn’t catch no bullets anyway.
Haha jaja haha jaja haha jaja…
Anyway, that’s all i got to say.
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