About a week or so ago, I arrived to Metro UAM to take a walk back to my apartment in Iztapalapa.
I had taken the whole day visiting far away parts of Iztapalapa with the cablebus.
Along the walk back, I was pretty hungry though as I had done a bit of traveling around but skipped lunch completely.
Before getting to this taco spot close to my apartment, I stop for a second and see this.
As seen in Colonia Los Angeles
When I stopped, the homeless dude in front of me carrying a trash bag full of plastic bottles and junk stopped too.
We both took a minute to watch the scene.
Then I carried on as I was hungry.
Tacos to Street Drama
The taco spot that I was headed for actually was only another minute away or so.
Basically in front of the Mexican Cowboy of the above.
As I kept walking, I saw the thing he was riding spin faster and he ended up losing control and fell off.
Other people gave it their best attempt going forward.
"Joven, con todo? Con verde? Salsa roja o verde?" I soon heard behind me.
Then soon came the tacos with some water.
As I kept watching the crowd while eating, some random woman pulled up close to them.
Her window soon down as she began saying something to the crowd about "are you allowed to take up this space?"
Apparently she parked at or close to that spot and they were taking it up with their Cowboy activity.
If I had to guess, she probably lives behind that white gate or door that is right next to the "Casa Jorge" building.
Not entirely sure though where she was living but I guess she parks there often?
And she wasn't happy.
But given it was the whole crowd versus her, she took her L and found another spot to park.
Life went on.
It's a simple story but reveals a few minor but interesting details about life here in Mexico and other Latin American countries.
First, it's not uncommon -- especially in poorer areas of Mexico City -- to see entire sections of a street blocked off for whatever purpose.
As I wrote here, I remember having to find another route as some religious group was taking up part of the street to give a prayer to Jesus or whatever they were doing.
Similarly, there was a moment I wrote here about the street literally right outside my apartment in the same neighborhood being taken up by a birthday party.
We did have a "no parking" sign on our gate so that anyone that wanted to could park there but that didn't matter as they took up the space they felt like to have the birthday party literally in the middle of the street.
During any taxi or Uber ride around poorer areas of the city, I've seen that actually on various occasions actually.
About a month ago in Iztapalapa, I visited Cerro de la Estrella mountain as I wrote here and my taxi driver had to find another route as part of the street was similarly blocked off.
Outside of birthday parties, it could also be the case that a street market is formed on a specific street that blocks traffic from using it.
With street markets doing that, it is something you see commonly enough in neighborhoods that aren't too poor either.
In the rest of Latin America, your mileage will vary obviously as to how often streets are being used formally or informally by either street market folks or, in more casual cases, for someone's birthday party.
Among other events.
Like if a crowd of people want to be cowboys!
Sorry Lady. Kick dirt. This is our space now!
Second, it also goes to show how spontaneous life can feel here at times.
Where some random event just happens out of nowhere that you wouldn't see back home on a casual basis like that.
Back in Iowa, I don't ever remember being anywhere and seeing a crowd form to be cowboys on the side of the street.
That isn't to say that sometimes streets aren't used for events.
Like when I was in Middle School and I remember some school nearby having some 4th of July event where kids could ride their bicycles together and whatever else the event included.
Or, in bigger cities, parades for similar events like 4th of July, Christmas, etc.
But never have I seen an entire section of the street taken up to celebrate some kid's birthday.
In short, the taking up of public space like that can be a bit more informal at times down here and sometimes it does piss off some locals.
When it does piss off a local though, it's usually because of the obvious reasons:
For one, they are taking up a parking space that they shouldn't be.
Two, they are limiting the ability of someone who is handicapped to go forward.
Three, you have some "hall monitor" types like in any country that just want to enforce rules even if it doesn't affect them.
Four, you have those who are currently driving around and they have to find some route around you and that inconveniences them.
To a foreigner like myself that doesn't even drive here, it doesn't bother me at all.
And I doubt most locals do either unless it directly inconveniences them like taking up a parking space or whatever the hell does.
It's a part of life down here that, as I said, adds to the spontaneous nature.
Like I wrote here where some random parade started outside of an old apartment of mine and I joined them.
So, if you begin living down here, keep an eye out for stuff like that.
You are bound to see it once in a while where something just happens in the street that might not happen as much or at all back home.
At any rate, if you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.