About 2 weeks ago, I was walking around the south of Mexico City near Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
I was basically run out of my last apartment by Politecnico area because the landlord really hated me using my fan to not sweat to death in the place.
According to him, it drove up the electricity costs sky high even though nobody else complained about it in other places I’ve stayed at.
Personally, I think he just wanted to keep the half of the deposit that I paid (about 50 bucks or something more or less).
I made sure to leave him a nice surprise though in that place. I’m sure the 50 bucks he stole will cover it.
Anyway, as the situation implies, I had to quickly find a new place to move to in the last month.
For various reasons, I decided to move back to the south of the city where I was before I moved to the north.
Personally, I didn’t like the north that much. It was OK but I honestly missed Coyoacan area of Mexico City.
So, in order to move back to Coyoacan, I decided to check out a neighborhood that I already know and like called Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
Given the long distance going from the north of the city to the south, I didn’t want to take too many trips to find a new place because of the pain in the ass it is to go from one end to the other.
So, on one particular afternoon, I woke up around 2 PM after working all night and messaged the best apartments I found online a few days before.
From what I remember, I think I had 5 places agree that afternoon to let me check out their place that afternoon.
Obviously, there’s some logistical planning needed to see 5 places in one afternoon.
Ultimately, I set each meetup about 15 to 30 minutes apart from each other.
Thankfully, I already knew my way around Pedregal de Santo Domingo so it wasn’t hard navigating the neighborhood to find each place.
If it was any other neighborhood that I didn’t know well, there was no way I could’ve set up each meetup so close to each other since I would surely be lost as fuck very quick.
So once the meetups were confirmed from around 5 to 7 PM roughly, I left my apartment by Politecnico.
Got on the metro and headed towards Deportivo 18 de Marzo before turning south towards Metro CU.
The Finding Nemo of Mexico City: Where the Fuck is this Apartment?
The first apartment was easy to find.
And I actually considered moving into that one and calling off the search for the others because I liked it a lot despite how small it was.
Thankfully, I didn’t call it off because I did find a better option later.
Anyway, while that apartment was easy to find, the next one was impossible.
Right away, I headed left closer to where Metro CU is and found myself on some avenue.
From what I remember, the number of the building was 36 and the house was yellow.
Once I’m on the avenue, I turn right and see the first building is labelled in the 200s and seemingly get larger at each building.
So I turn the opposite direction.
The next building was some mom and pop restaurant and it was literally some number like 34.
So we jumped from maybe 218 to 34 just like that?
How the fuck is that possible?
Anyway, I carry on.
From what I remember, we did have a 35 and then we had some number in the 100s like 140 maybe.
Then the house after that was 38.
I’m confused as fuck right now.
As I’m staring at house #38, some young chubby dude walks out.
He sees me staring at his building in confusion.
Right there, I asked him “yo, I’m now from here. I’m looking for this building #36. This is #38?”
He says “yes” and then asks what I’m looking for.
I explain it’s some yellow building that has apartments in it.
He looks around and points to a yellow building across the avenue.
“Maybe it’s that? It’s yellow.”
Then he considers the possibility that maybe it’s the other direction and checks the numbers on the buildings I already saw.
He’s equally confused – “#38, #140, #35, #34, #210.”
We turn the corner away from the avenue and see that the first house is numbered something in the higher numbers.
He’s a little bit confused but thinks I must go the direction I was already headed in when I found his house and that maybe it’s on the other side of the avenue.
I thank him and check out that yellow house.
What number was it?
If I remember right, I think that was the number for that one at least because of the disappointment it was to find that it wasn’t the house I was looking for but seemed like a very obvious candidate.
While it didn’t look very much like the house in the photo on Google Maps, I just assumed that maybe they changed it since Google Maps took that image.
After all, it is yellow at least!
But not #36.
Then I do the same thing on this side of the avenue as I did on the other.
Check out how the numbers go in both directions.
And it was a fuckshow of a numbering system.
Same thing as before.
Though I don’t remember how the numbers went exactly, they were something like #27, #29, #131, #14, #279, etc.
Then, when I would go the other direction, it was the same thing.
Soon enough, I found myself asking some employee of some woodworking shop about which way to go.
He didn’t know and said “it’s tough to tell. The numbering system in this neighborhood is all fucked.”
Then he stopped some young dude passing by and asked him if he knew which way to go.
They looked at the photo of the house and its number giving it some consideration for maybe 5 minutes.
But, in the end, they both concluded that they have no idea.
At this point, given the short duration of time I gave myself in between each apartment visit, I decided to ditch the hunt and move onto the next place as I was going to be late to the next spot if I didn’t move on.
As I left this avenue, I took this photo here to show where I was in Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
Another Difficult Search Coming Up
After that place, I easily enough found the third spot.
And the third spot was literally perfect for me.
I fucking loved it.
Then the landlord told me “oh, internet isn’t included in the price. You’d have to get your own internet and reach out to the company yourself.”
On top of that, they told me “no visits allowed.”
So no chicas for me?
Both the pain in the ass of having to deal with an internet company myself and the lack of chicas killed it for me.
After that place, I went to the fourth place waiting for me.
And we had a similar issue trying to find this place too.
I knew where the street was and it was actually nicely located in the neighborhood.
Once I got there, I followed the numbers on the houses.
However, I got to the end of the street where I was looking for some number like #41 and found numbers #42 and #45 at the very end of the street.
But where the fuck is #41?!
As I’m looking at the photo of the building, I don’t see it anywhere near me.
Then I ask some old lady running a table selling candy and chips to ask her where this house is.
She tells me in Spanish something the equivalent of “oh, the numbering system in this neighborhood is all messed up. You got a photo of the place?”
I showed her.
She recognized the building thankfully and told me to go to the very beginning of the street.
It was located on the exact opposite end of where it should be number wise.
So I walked back.
Found it soon enough.
To add to my luck, the landlord was also late giving me the usual mañana time.
I ended up knocking on the door quite a bit and yelling out her name like I have learned to do in this neighborhood.
A guy living in the building opened the door and was confused as to why I was knocking.
I explained the situation. He reached out to the landlord. Told me that she said that she’s late but will be there in 10 mintues.
And 10 minutes it was.
Oh Mexico. You and your silly mañana time.
Anyway, I had the same issue again with the numbering system in the final and fifth apartment I went to check out.
It happened to be on a street just a minute walk away.
And I ended up lost again due to the shit numbering system of the area.
Ended up asking a haircut lady if she could help me out but she had no idea for the same reason that it’s hard to know where to locate any house in the area because of the issue discussed.
Looking at the photos, I figured I found the right spot soon enough but was a bit late compared to when I said I would show up as it took me a while to find it.
Giving Latin Americans a taste of their own mañana time…
Knocked on the door.
Kept knocking and yelling out the owner’s name “JOSE!!! JOSE!!!”
After 5 minutes of waiting, a fat bald dude opens the door confused as to who I am.
“Jose?” I asked.
He wasn’t Jose.
But it was the right building!
The fat bald dude went to get Jose and the rest is history.
Still, while the numbering system in Pedregal de Santo Domingo is shit, it’s symbolic of something greater you can see sometimes in Latin America.
Finding a Building in Latin America is Like a Fucking Adventure
Unless you are using Uber to take you somewhere, it can sometimes take a long ass time to find a very specific place in Latin America if you have never been there before.
Usually with problems that just shouldn’t be problems.
As I wrote here, you often have streets that have no street signs telling you where you are at.
When I was apartment hunting months ago for the first time ever in Lidnavista area of Mexico City, I had that exact same issue trying to find a place because there was a lack of god damn street signs!
What happened to them?
The city budget too poor to have them?
….Or did some homeless dude steal them to break into tiny metal pieces and shove them up his cock hole before pissing them out into his cousin’s asshole?
Either one is possible, don’t you know!
In all seriousness anyhow, that’s just one issue.
The other issue, as shown in this article here, is how you can sometimes have “numbering” issues when trying to find a house in Latin America.
Pedregal de Santo Domingo isn’t the only neighborhood where I have seen this happen.
And, to be fair, I don’t know why it happens.
Poor urban planning for whatever reason.
Either way, it’s a small aspect to life here that will sometimes bite you in the ass.
Consequently, you might find yourself in some goddamn “finding nemo” adventure spending way longer to find a place than you would need to otherwise.
It almost makes me want to do some community service by taking a paint brush and reassigning the numbers myself.
Can’t be that hard to fix, right?
Granted, I’m not an urban developer but I honestly can’t see why it still is an issue in places like this despite whatever poor urban planning started it.
Why couldn’t you just take a paintbrush and reassign the numbers accordingly?
Is there some stubborn neighbor out there who would be pissed at losing his status of being house #35 and doesn’t want that cocksucker Rodrigo down the street (who fucked his wife) to have it instead?
Your guess is as good as mine.
At the end of the day, when you find yourself in situations like this, here’s a few obvious tips.
First, ask for help on the street from someone working who isn’t busy.
Like you saw in one of the examples above, it can help.
Second, have photos of the building obviously to help you spot what you are looking for.
Third, if possible, have Uber drive you to the location. It basically takes out any issue to begin with when it comes to finding the place.
Fourth, maybe invest in a cheap burner phone with some minutes so you can at least call the landlord when lost?
All obvious tips.
Anyway, that’s all I got to say.
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Thanks for reading.