On my last day I realized how much of a pain in the ass it is to leave Milpa Alta of Mexico City.
I always knew that it was relatively difficult but didn't get a clearer idea until I began living there for a month and until my last day when trying to move to my next apartment in Colonia la Federal by the airport.
Before moving there, I took occasional visits to Milpa Alta and always found it more time consuming to get a taxi or Uber.
When you do get an taxi or Uber, it'll take forever to get anywhere else because the distance from Milpa Alta to the rest of the city is a bit much.
And, on occasions where I have taken public transportation to leave Milpa Alta, I found it to be a pain in the ass.
Like one time when I went from the town of Santa Ana in Milpa Alta to Colonia la Federal to check out some apartments.
I actually had to take a taxi from Santa Ana to the town of San Antonio because I have never seen a bus in Santa Ana that will take anyone out of that town.
Based on my month there, it seems you have to take a taxi to another town of Milpa Alta where buses will take you out (even though they do have buses that'll take people to Santa Ana but can't fucking take them out for some reason).
Still, once I began taking public transportation from San Antonio to la Federal, it took 4 hours to get there.
First a bus to Metro Tlahuac and then a bus to another metro station because Tlahuac and Line 12 isn't working and then the metro to Metro Hangares.
And it took 4 fucking hours.
And another 4 hours to get back.
On other occasions using public transportation to leave Milpa Alta, I found it taking 2 hours just to get to Metro Taxqueña.
All around, with no metro or cablebus directly to Milpa Alta, it takes fucking forever to leave.
So just take a taxi or Uber right?
Well, as I hinted at before, even that can be tricky.
Let's get to a recent story that illustrates that.
Moving from Milpa Alta to La Federal
On the day I was set to leave, I quickly packed my bags and placed all of them by the front gate of the building that I was spending a month in.
My landlords actually thought I was going to stay for 6 months or so but I only had plans to stay for a month, see everything I could in Milpa Alta and then ditch.
Thankfully, I didn't have to even pay a deposit to them because I told them I'd pay the entire thing at the start of the second month but then just left.
Anyway, because of that, I kinda wanted to just ditch without them knowing like I have done in other areas because you never know if they'll demand you leave something.
I've had previous landlords who tried to demand I leave behind a laptop or shit only to realize I already left.
So, on this day, I'm just quietly placing all my shit by the front gate and, when ready, I order an Uber.
Now, in my experience, Milpa Alta generally doesn't have too many Ubers to begin with.
Even if you are in the main town of Villa Milpa Alta, you might find none in my experience.
And Villa Milpa Alta is where most of the Ubers hang around.
In most cases though, it'll take you on average 30 to 45 minutes to get an Uber and you'll probably have to request a ride again on 2 or 3 occasions after repeatedly being told "there's no rides available."
My first ride though wasn't too difficult to get however.
It took the average time of 45 minutes or so.
Then the rider -- named Saul as you can see here -- shows up.
It's close to an hour by the time he actually arrived.
Once he got here, he immediately asks if he can use the bathroom.
While I'm not sure if the building allowed guests to come in, I showed him where it was anyhow.
What are they going to do for letting a guest in? Kick me out? HA.
Anyway, he goes to take a piss and I begin taking my bags out of the main gate and onto the street in front of his vehicle.
Once finished, he walks outside and sees me slowly putting everything onto the street.
And all the stuff I have.
He gives it 30 seconds to process how much I'm carrying and immediately gets back in his vehicle.
He seemed to hesitate canceling at first and kinda just sat there.
Now I'm used to uber drivers being lazy sacks of shit not helping me put the bags into the vehicle so I thought at first that maybe he just wants to be lazy and sit down there while I put my bags inside.
He then rolls his window down and it becomes obvious to me that he's thinking about ditching.
"No puedo!" he says.
And begins saying I got too much shit to put in his car.
I shrug and tell him to cancel the ride then.
Around this time, the two old grandmas of the building that are part of the family that runs this place walk to the front gate as they must've noticed something.
There's a cherry grandma that is very pleasant and always laughing in good spirits.
The other grandma always has a stern personality, never a smile and quite the opposite.
They're surprised at me getting ready to leave and I tell them "oh, I'll be back, no worry."
They call the husband who is younger and runs the place to come on over to talk with me.
Some dude who could be in his 30s, a bit short and chubby and overall normal personality that seems nice.
Anyway, while the Uber driver fucks off, I notice immediately some dog sneaks up on my bags on the street and snatches something.
Some white looking thing.
At first, I thought it was a small bag of mole.
Walked up to the dog to see it was opening up a bag that had a quesadilla in it.
The dog looked up at me with a guilty and sad look.
I thought "fuck it, have it then" and walked back to take my bags back inside the building.
Getting a Taxi
The husband showed up fairly soon as he works like 5 minutes away from the house.
He wasn't combative nor hostile to the idea of me leaving so soon.
Nor did he demand that I leave anything behind to pay for the deposit in case I broke something.
Just wondering if I am leaving.
Anyway, I sat my ass down and began ordering another Uber.
I eventually got some other dude after a while of waiting but told him in advance that I'd be carrying a lot of bags and he cancelled right away.
The owner told me that I'd have better luck getting a taxi.
So I eventually walked outside to go looking for one.
Asked about a dozen taxi drivers literally if they'd take me there and they all said no except for one dude.
One young looking dude in a beat up and more informal looking taxi car that wanted me to pay 2,500 pesos (125 USD) for the ride up to the airport where la Federal is near.
I obviously went back to the building and began looking on Uber again as most of the rides on there are around 300 to 370 pesos at night to go from Milpa Alta to La Federal.
And now Latin American taxi drivers wonder why we tell them to kick rocks?
Eventually, I get this motherfucker as a third possible driver but, as you can see here, he kept stationary in one specific area.
Until he cancelled when he realized I wasn't cancelling.
Escape from Milpa Alta?
Finally, it got to the point where I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it to the apartment that night.
I was honestly getting pretty pissed off because nowhere else in Mexico City is it this fucking difficult to get a ride.
While waiting, I did have some religious little group pass by my house singing for the holidays as you can see here.
My current landlord in La Federal told me that night that I could show up literally at any hour of the night as they have a guard at all times who would let me in.
But I didn't want to show up past midnight with all my shit.
And the ride over would take maybe an hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
It was already getting close to around 8 or 9 PM.
If it hadn't worked that night, I would've just tried again the following day and start ride hunting hours earlier at like 1 PM or maybe even 11 AM.
However fucking long I need to just leave Milpa Alta.
It also crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn't tell drivers ahead of time that I have a shit ton of stuff to carry and just let the surprise hit them when they already get here.
Sure, Uber will charge you like 30 pesos (1.5 USD) if they show up and cancel but I might have a better shot at getting a ride that way?
Anyway, I eventually do get one last ride.
The husband landlord of the Milpa Alta place walks up to me anyhow by this time and asks if he can have the keys to the place if I'm leaving soon.
He was cool with me staying one more night anyhow if I couldn't find anything that specific night but I had one last driver making their way to me and so I crossed my fingers on that one.
The next driver shows up anyhow.
Some dude who came in a bigger vehicle as you can see here and I thought "oh good, he has enough space."
Granted, I've managed to shove all my shit into smaller vehicles but surely this dude won't bitch about not being able to take all my shit over, right?
As he parks, I begin taking all my shit back onto the street but I start small.
I don't show him the plastic chair I wanted to fit inside just yet.
First I take out the big suitcase but it's just a suitcase.
He won't bitch about a suitcase, will he?
Including some small bags.
He begins putting shit into the vehicle as I take it onto the street.
Once I took my 50 pound barbell onto the street though was when the look on his face changed.
You could tell he was processing this as "what the fuck? Gym weights now?"
And, after enough shit taken outside, he begins complaining on several occasions how "I'm not a moving company, Matthew!"
I just laugh and ignore his comments.
Keep taking shit out.
I figured that, if he begins small by putting in the physical work to already get half of my shit inside before more noticeable items, that he'll just keep rolling along with it.
Instead of taking my shit out of his vehicle and then leaving.
Like some psychological "I'm always this far into it, there can't be much more, right?"
That's a usual sentiment I come across when trying to move all my shit with a Uber driver when I slowly begin taking out the more noticeable items.
It was once I got my chair outside though that he began to protest.
"No way that's fitting inside my vehicle!" he said.
But, having experience getting all this shit and the chair into smaller things, I knew we could make it work.
He tried to his credit.
But wasn't able to.
I tried and found a way to squeeze it in.
The look on his face was one of astonishment when I managed to get it inside.
'Ese gringo loco wey, no mames" he thought.
All the while we were doing this, the cheery grandma and this young teenager looking kid were standing by the door watching us.
I handed them the keys.
Here is part of the route we took on over to la Federal.
"Quien Llega a Milpa Alta no Sale de Milpa Alta"
The Uber driver along the way was insisting I give him a good tip for helping me carry all this shit.
A bit unprofessional to be demanding a tip so I gave him less than what I would have otherwise but he was right that he was the only dude who helped me that night.
The only dude in Milpa Alta.
Unlike the rest of the fucking city where getting a driver brave enough to leave their respective area isn't harder than having a meeting with Jesus Christ himself.
Once we actually left Milpa Alta though and got into Xochimilco, the wave of relief washed over me.
"We're FINALLY out of Milpa Alta!"
While I liked Milpa Alta and think it's greatly undervalued, leaving was such a pain in the ass that I visibly pissed off by how hard it was to find someone -- ANYONE -- who would fucking take me out of there.
To the point I was even muttering to myself mockingly of the region while looking for a taxi "quien llega a Milpa Alta no sale de Milpa Alta."
It's the fucking truth.
It's like what I said on other occasions.
For example, there's a taxi driver in Milpa Alta that I've used to drive me around for 8 hours at a time to see the country roads of Milpa Alta when I lived there.
As you can see here, the dude was unwilling to help take me to other parts of Mexico City.
Sure, Iztapalapa has a more dangerous reputation but he wouldn't go ANYWHERE outside of Milpa Alta.
There generally does seem to be some limp dick, down syndrome level fear that taxis and Ubers in Milpa Alta have of leaving the region.
You JUST DO NOT see that level of hesitation from drivers in the rest of Mexico City regarding a ride from one borough to the next.
For the average Milpa Alta taxi or Uber driver, a trip ANYWHERE outside of Milpa Alta -- even if it was to an "original town" of Tlalpan -- is the same as driving to Canada.
As if the distance to Tlalpan is the same as to Canada.
Too fucking far!
Even when it comes to driving from Santa Ana to another town of Milpa Alta that isn't right next door but maybe 30 minutes away -- such as San Salvador -- is too fucking far.
I've literally had that experience of trying to get someone to drive me ot San Salvador Cuauhtenco when they had their Feria de Barbacoa event -- which is in Milpa Alta by the way -- and being told no by multiple drivers that they won't go there.
"Too far" they tell me.
Despite being in fucking Milpa Alta.
Or going to the town next door to that called San Pablo Oztotepec to see their museum on Emiliano Zapata -- which is also in Milpa Alta -- and being told again on several occasions that "it's too far."
I'm honestly of the belief that taxi and Uber drivers of Milpa Alta are the laziest motherfuckers you will ever find.
They say that Mexicans are hardworking people but obviously the taxi drivers of Milpa Alta are doing their damnest to disprove that and make all Mexicans look like lazy sacks of shit.
Of course, not all Mexicans are that lazy. I'm not saying that.
Just 75% of taxi and Uber drivers of Milpa Alta.
And only Milpa Alta.
For, as I said before on multiple occasions, you just don't see this type degree of laziness from taxi or Uber drivers in the rest of Mexico City.
You'll always find some who are lazy or "won't go there" to wherever you are going in the rest of the city but not to the degree that you'll see it in Milpa Alta.
The ideal work day for most taxi drivers in Milpa Alta seems to be driving people from one end of town to the other end of the same town.
And doing that repeatedly.
With an occasional break every 2 hours to go home and fuck their cousin wife.
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
Finally, here's a photo of the new area I'm all moved into.
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Thanks for reading.