Would you like to know what is a good sign of how friendly the locals are in any particular part of Latin America?
There are various signs to consider.
For one, I'd consider the amount of respect the locals have for their own community is one in terms of not littering as much as others.
But another one is a simple expression that isn't too hard to say to those passing by.
Want to know what it is?"
Or simply "good day."
While it seems like plenty of people would do that where I'm from as I remember random neighbors saying "good day" or any other form of greeting if passing by (especially if it was someone older and not someone young), you'll find that this type of greeting isn't always common wherever you go.
And, truth be told, it's a nice little detail to life wherever you are if it happens.
Truthfully, I find some places to not have it as much where there isn't a strong sense of community and where you have more locals who want to put on a "tough guy" act.
In Mexico City, you'll find quite often that most parts of this city don't have people saying "buenos dias."
In large part because a lot of neighborhoods here, in my opinion, don't have that "sense of community."
And I've lived all over the city in numerous neighborhoods for months at a time in various spots.
When I lived in the north of the city by Metro Lindavista, it didn't feel like your average person was trying to put on a tough act but instead most people just didn't seem to have that sense of community in the area.
In more touristy areas, you are bound to get a complete stranger to say hi to you but mostly because they just want to sell your something.
In areas with lots of gringos, you can't really expect your average gringo to being saying "hi" to strangers either.
For one, most leave the city eventually and are not here long term.
And, especially if they are urbanites from the US or Europeans especially, I feel it's just less common for folks to say "buenos dias" to a stranger.
Obviously, small town Iowa has a different feel to it than a place like NYC or any European country where people have been described as "being colder."
Which, in my brief experience in Europe, I'd say that really depends on how "east" you go.
Though I don't know Europe well, I found the average person to indeed be "colder" in a place like Sweden versus Portugal or Greece.
Regardless, in Mexico anyway, you'll notice more of an openness to saying hello or buenos dias to strangers in places that are not as touristy and reflect a "fly over" feeling to them just like Iowa does.
A place that doesn't get much attention, is perhaps not the most exciting but has more humble people.
When I lived in Pachuca de Soto, there definitely was more of that "community" feel to it where strangers would say to you "buenos dias."
Could be literal strangers even as was the case from time to time.
Or could be those who know you informally like the lady in the building over from my former apartment who sold cheap snacks to the old lady who worked at the OXXO who always had a "slightly concerned" look at my 3rd time a week schedule for buying more beer or liquor.
"De nuevo, joven?" you could see the words themselves in her eyes.
Though she never inquired about the drinking habit, I'm sure I could've pulled off an excuse for why I need more liquor any day of the week.
"Oh this is just for the bros doing construction work on my house."
"You said that the last 10 times."
Mitchell and Webb Alcoholic
Despite that, she was kind too in giving me the casual "buenos dias" whenever we crossed paths in the street.
Of course, not every place in Mexico that isn't overly touristy has the friendly "buenos dias" crowd.
When I lived in Naucalpan in Estado de Mexico close to Cuatro Caminos area, I never got those vibes from the people there.
The area seemed more run down and people seemed a little more on edge.
Not even trying to be tough necessarily but just more "on edge" in case anyone tried mugging them.
One even tried mugging me as I wrote about here.
No buenos dias from him, I suppose.
And, in other parts of Mexico City, you have Tepito that has a reputation of having "tough" people.
While I don't know the area too well, I have been there many times before and never got a "buenos dias" from anyone unfortunately.
It's only until I moved into the neighborhood where I live now where a "buenos dias" is quite a common occurrence.
A daily one actually.
The Best Neighborhood of Mexico City to Get a Buenos Dias
It's not the most well-known neighborhood of the city.
In fact, even Mexicans don't like living here as many who plan on moving to the south of the city will often say in Facebook "I'm looking for an apartment near UNAM but NO SANTO DOMINGO."
And that's the name of the area.
Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
Truth be told, it's not the nicest looking area for sure.
You can read more about the history of the place that I wrote about in this article here.
While it's not perfect, there are things I like about this place.
For one, I don't get harassed by cops or the homeless as much here as in other neighborhoods.
There's way more street food here than elsewhere in the city.
One of my favorite parks is close by (including other green spaces).
I like the gym I go to in the area.
The women have a certain look to them that appeals to me more.
I don't have to haul 20 liters of water to my apartment anymore as I have an "Agua Man" to deliver it for me.
Rent is technically cheaper though I don't think the price difference justifies the reason to live here by itself.
Life feels more "informal" here if that makes sense and I feel more comfortable or in place here.
And, above any other reason I like it, there's a sense of community.
Even without the "buenos dias," you get a strong sense of community in some respect.
Events going on in the streets like you can see here.
Festejo de los Judas Pedregal de Santo Domingo
And they aren't uncommon!
But, with that sense of community, you got the "buenos dias" greetings.
I don't go a day down here -- literally -- without someone telling me "buenos dias."
Just yesterday, I walked outside of my apartment to buy some gorditas from a lady down the street and a complete stranger said to me "buenos dias."
And, speaking of the gordita lady, she says to me "buenos dias" at least several times a day.
That's no fucking joke.
If I am EVER walking past the corner across from her where she makes her food, she always puts on a smile and waves "BUENOS DIAS!"
It's to the point that I'm almost convinced that she instead just wants me to put my cock in her mouth already because she must be so tired from shouting "BUENOS DIAS" multiple times a day, you know?
GIVE THE GAL A MOMENT TO STOP SHOUTING. SHE EARNED IT.
But she does though, in all seriousness, greet me multiple times a day.
Granted, she's always sitting there in the same spot for like 12 hours a day LITERALLY waiting for anyone to buy her food.
In the same way I'm probably one of her bigger customers given I buy from her twice a week, she's easily one of my biggest "BUENOS DIAS" fans out here.
Outside of that, you got random moments here and there.
The other day leaving the gym tired as fuck with legs that feel like they are about to collapse and an old man in a cowboy hat saying to me "buenas noches joven."
In short, I must give the award of being the most welcoming in terms of "BUENOS DIAS" said to the neighborhood of Pedregal de Santo Domingo.
And that's no exaggeration.
Compared to any other neighborhood I've walked through or lived in, no other neighborhood greets me this much.
And it's not just me!
They greet each other a lot also so don't think it's just because I'm a foreigner.
Over a month or so ago, I remember walking outside towards Azteca Paseo Park and someone in front of me said "buenos dias" to the lady sitting down by her table trying to sell whatever.
Out of a desire to not be disrespectful, I said "buenos dias" too and got one back.
Of course, not EVERYONE is so nice in this neighborhood.
The other day I was walking around the neighborhood looking for the cheapest chair I could buy and one very skinny, young man slightly shorter than me approached me as we were walking towards each other.
Ultimately, he just wanted to sell something but I got some weird vibe from him that almost seemed like he was trying to sense if I'd be worth mugging.
Something off about the kid in his body language.
But nothing happened and I moved on.
So, given his reputation for being dangerous, this neighborhood doesn't just have friendly gordita ladies who seem to be doing the best to get your attention over any other gal and cowboy viejitos that both like to say "buenos dias" or "buenas noches."
It has some unfavorable characters too like anywhere else.
But, regardless of that, I like the idea a lot.
It's grown on me and is one of my preferred areas to the city.
For many reasons, including how it is the best place for giving me a "buenos dias" welcome every single day I live here.
But that's all I got to say.
Drop any comments below.
And follow my Twitter here.
Thanks for reading.