The other day, I went up a little bit north in Mexico City to Copilco area to resolve some minor business.
For one, I wanted to get some TRT injected.
And, similar to this moment here, I had to wait a long time to actually get the doctor to see me.
Outside of that, I gave 5 pesos to some gordita vendor because he didn’t have change for the last time I bought his gorditas and I owed him 5 pesos more than what I paid last time.
On top of that, I crossed the street to the 7-11 to get some liquor.
I’ve been thinking of reducing my drinking but, when I do drink, experiment more like I used to making nicer tasting drinks instead of just black tea and vodka/brandy/rum/whiskey.
Unfortunately though, the 7-11 didn’t have the type of rum I was looking for.
Knowing the area, I decided to cross the street again and walk on over to a nearby Walmart about 10 minutes walking distance away.
As I crossed the street, I noticed something interesting.
Well, interesting to me anyhow.
In which there was a food stand that looked quite nice.
It was a food stand that I used to buy food from when I lived in this area like 5 months ago more or less.
Back when I lived around here, I remember when the lady who runs it actually first set up shop.
She wasn’t always selling food in that exact spot when I was living here but showed up one day with a food stand and that was it.
When she began, she was only selling chilaquiles.
However, near the end of my time in this area, she began selling gorditas also and I think some other type of food.
Then I moved away.
And now 5 months later?
Not only does her food stand have a huge sign that advertises various types of Mexican food that she didn’t offer before but her food stand is more appealing to look at.
It used to be just a white table with a little cover over it in case it rained.
Now the cover over it is blue and larger.
The “little kitchen” she has looks more sophisticated with obviously more pots and pans to contain even more food and more tools to cook with obviously.
Her business has expanded!
Why does this matter?
Well, let’s look at another example of what I’m trying to get at.
A Return to the Metro
Over a year and a half ago, I was living in a Mexican city called Pachuca.
I was in Pachuca for about 9 months roughly before moving back to Mexico City where I was living before.
After moving back, I remember taking the metro for the first time.
It was some metro station around the center of the city where this memory took place – Hidalgo or Balderas?
One of the two probably.
Either way, I got out of the train to switch lanes when I noticed a few things.
For one, the metro had A LOT more cops in the area for some reason.
Just a lot more doing their jobs to notify people when the train is coming, watch the crowds to identify any pickpocketing thieves and so on.
Also, there were nicer looking TVs hanging from the walls showing music videos, advertisements, etc.
It looked a little bit nicer than how I remembered it only 9 months prior.
But, on top of that, I remember a few months later getting on some train in the metro and being happy that there were fans blowing from the top.
Probably happy because, with the masks on now, I was sweating my ass off.
Still, while those fans were always there I think, I never remembered them being used before and I used the metro several days a week.
Perhaps they were always there but I never was standing in the right spot on the right train at the right time to benefit from them.
Even today, most of the time I get on the metro doesn’t involve some extra ventilation to keep me from sweating too much.
But, in part, I do think it depends on which train you are on and if you are just lucky enough to have it turned on in the moment.
Either way, while it’s not a huge development to the life in Mexico City, it’s a small detail that maybe is more appreciated to those who have spent more than a year here at least.
And, when speaking of metros, there have been other noticeable changes also.
Replace Poverty for Feminism in Insurgtentes?
When I first began living in Mexico City in 2017, I lived by Metro Insurgentes area in Roma Norte.
Back then, you had a little camp of homeless people that were often drugged out, drunk, having mental episodes, etc.
It was often the case that I would have to hold the hand of whatever girl I was taking back home when crossing paths with the homeless of this area because multiple women would seemingly shit themselves at how scary these folks were.
They weren’t THAT scary.
Though, when time when returning home from a bar nearby, I had to cross paths by them at like 4 AM and some middle aged lady began laughing hysterically at me literally like what you would see with this ghost in The Shining here.
Thankfully for her, I wasn’t too drunk and I also had a chick walking with me back home or else I’d probably had gone crazy too and began laughing back.
Then what would she do?
Well, at that point, it’s simply a matter of who can out crazy the other person.
In some cases, both crazies decide to become best friends and, in other cases, they try to kill each other.
In the former, it certainly isn’t a terrible idea as I wouldn’t mind getting head from a crazy homeless lady in the middle of the night.
It’s a hobby of mine.
Still, in these days, that homeless camp is gone.
What happened to them?
I don’t know.
So life might not be better for them necessarily (no idea) but people living in the area have it slightly nicer as the general area does look nicer and cleaner.
Though, about a year or so after they got rid of the homeless folks, you had a mini feminist market move in way across on the other side from where the homeless camp was.
While I am sceptical of feminists in the area due to their decision to keep destroying the ticket machinery in the metro and other metro areas, I don’t mind their market anyhow.
If I was living in the area, I couldn’t imagine they would scare any dates I had.
Though, on the flip side, if I was bringing in numerous dates that caught the attention of a femcel, I could totally see one screaming at us “THE PATRIARCHY!! DON’T YOU KNOW, GIRLFRIEND, THAT HE SEES OTHER WOMEN TOO?!?! CUT HIS PENIS OFF!!”
But nobody is guilty until proven so!
As of yet, no feminist has tried to cockblock me so we’re on good terms so far.
Regardless of some of my more negative perceptions of some of the behavior of the feminist movement in Mexico City as I wrote here, I don’t mind the market either way.
A market where people can sell stuff to put food on the table?
To me, it’s a sign of improvement.
They want to work to get food and pay rent, it’s no problem.
Of course, you could be cynical and say “any example of informal economy is a sign that the economy is working if people can’t find more formal employment” like whenever you see other informal markets in the metros as I wrote about here.
Well, let’s be real, nothing is perfect.
It’s better than seeing homeless folks – who need help to be fair – having mental episodes and doing drugs.
It’s an improvement!
And that’s what this is all about anyhow.
Finding Happiness in Improvement in Latin America
If you’re new to whatever city in the world, you might not appreciate very well these small signs of community improvement.
If I had moved to Mexico City for the first time ever last week and just seen these signs, I wouldn’t be mentioning them.
They’d have absolutely no relevance to me whatsoever.
No context to compare them to.
And I get it – they aren’t giant examples.
A gordita lady who expands her menu and has a fancier looking food stand?
Look, it’s only a sign that an individual is moving ahead in life.
Her business is expanding!
She can seemingly hire more employees than before that need a job to pay their own rent.
All around, she’s serving the community well.
Same thing with a feminist market.
While some of the behavior of feminists that involve destroying the metro that normal, working class people have to use is bad, I don’t mind seeing any informal market really.
Be it feminist or not feminist.
These are people that, while it would be preferable that more formal employment options existed for everyone, at least can support themselves through this measure.
And the general area around Metro Insurgentes, does look nicer.
Though, when talking about that area, obviously we all hope that the authorities found help for those homeless folks and didn’t just hide them away into some other camp because, if you walk not so far away from that area, you can find other spots where lots of homeless people are that need help.
Regardless, just to stay with the positivity, I think you can see SOME positive signs in that area.
Not to mention those small increments of positive change in the metro stations themselves.
Among anything else in society!
Or other Latin cities to be fair.
Just the other day, I got an email from a guy who has been visiting Barranquilla.
He enjoys the Dominican Republic and Colombia quite well.
And he was telling me that, over the years since I was last there, the city has improved a lot apparently!
While I have my doubts that no flash floods happen there, he did say that infrastructure is better and, according to the taxi drivers he spoke with, they aren’t as big of an issue as they were years before.
No idea how much they have improved the infrastructure to be fair but it’s encouraging to hear positive changes of that nature happening elsewhere.
In my months living in Barranquilla, I do remember seeing a lot of construction projects changing the skyline seemingly like you’d see outside the windows of Buenavista Mall.
What about the rest of Latin America?
Well, that is where I’ll leave it to you to discuss.
I’ve been to most countries down here but, as I said before, I can’t make those observations as I was only a one time visitor to most places and don’t have the years of experience to make comparisons regarding how various other locations have improved over time.
That is for you to say and I’d love to hear comments about other communities have improved.
In small and big ways!
Because that’s really what this is about.
Just how, over the years you live somewhere, you gain that bigger appreciation for positive community changes that happen.
Small or big.
Despite all of the negatives I bring up about life down here, seeing the improvements in a community that you have called home is pretty awesome.
Because, despite all the shit talking I do about Mexico, I truly do like the country and like the people (even if some habits of a few annoy me).
You still call the place home after years living somewhere and grow a fondness for it.
You make local friends that you’ll remember forever.
And you wish the best for it all.
When you see those positive changes – small or big – it brings a smile to your day to see that.
Leave any comments below in the comment section anyhow.
And thanks for reading.
Follow my Twitter here.