Over the last year or so, I've been living in either real barrio "ghetto" looking neighborhoods or rural areas of Mexico City with apartments that reflect, to some degree, the areas they are in.
Not so long ago, I moved to another neighborhood of Mexico City that I wouldn't call ghetto and where the building itself is actually very nice.
It has hot water in the shower.
A real kitchen and not just a hot plate.
Looks kinda modern.
Has a roof (the place in Milpa Alta didn't have a roof in the main part of the building).
No bugs. No rats.
Not in the ghetto.
Has private security.
The bed is the most comfortable I've had in forever.
Nice view from the window.
Its own gym.
Almost feels like a hotel.
Nice as fuck.
It was last night where I was laying in my bed listening to some music and drinking some vodka where I realized this.
"God damn, this place is actually kinda nice."
And it almost feels like it must not be true.
It's too nice.
Reminds me of another moment I had some odd months ago.
A Meal of Kings in San Pedro Atocpan
San Pedro Atocpan is a town in Milpa Alta.
One of the nicest towns of Milpa Alta.
They hold every year this event called Feria de Mole.
Mole being a type of chocolate tasting sauce you can find in Mexico basically.
I wrote about the event here.
At the event anyhow, I remember sitting down and deciding to really spend more than I normally do for food.
I normally spend 2 to 10 bucks at most for a meal but usually 2 to 5 really.
This type I felt like, given the occasion and how nice the event was, to spend a little more.
Not like I had a choice anyhow given prices at the event are a little higher than meals elsewhere.
But I spent maybe 25 to 30 bucks for a meal?
Here's what I had.
And, for a brief moment, I felt like a king.
All this great tasting food for such a premium price of 25 to 30 bucks.
A price for a meal that I'm not used to.
I just don't spend that kinda money on food.
While I could afford it and it didn't break the bank, I'll be honest in saying that I always lean towards spending least as possible.
Just makes me a little uncomfortable to spend lots of money.
And, for me, 30 dollars for a meal kinda feels like a lot.
Not because it breaks the bank.
Not even close.
Wasn't a financial burden in anyway.
It's just far from what I normally spend and, for whatever reason, I just tend to be live very frugally and always have for all my life.
But, despite going out of what is usual for me, I felt like a king.
Was kinda dope.
It also felt different spending that much.
And either scenario above reminded me of another incident I've come across.
A Return to Roma
The same feeling happens anytime I return to Roma Norte for a visit.
Or even Roma Sur.
You be walking the streets and they look so nice.
The buildings are so much more modern.
And it kinda feels like you returned to civilization.
No homeless people doing drugs outside?
No buildings that look like they're on the verge of collapse?
Damn, this area too nice for me.
And, to escape the third world ghettos of Iztapalapa or wherever, it just feels oddly nice to be back in a much nicer area.
Of course, I equally feel the same about the third world ghettos.
When I leave them to live in places like Roma, I find myself missing very select ghettos of Mexico City where I vibe with well.
Like Santo Domingo or parts of Cuautepec or Iztapalapa.
Hell, even Tepito I like a lot.
It's like when I was living in Roma Norte and Centro Historico and found myself glad to be returning to the ghetto again soon after a few years ago.
I see things I like in both types of areas but, after enough time in one of them, I miss the other.
With that also comes with the need for variety and the feeling that I need to "change things up" with my environment.
So to be spending so much time now in the ghettos or rural areas of CDMX and to take that occasional visit back to Roma Norte or Roma Sur?
Feels surreal almost.
Kinda like whenever I visit a Mexican gal named Angie that I've known for years.
A Night with Angie
Angie lives near Metro Portales.
Not the nicest area of Mexico City but not a ghetto.
The area itself isn't like Roma Norte in terms of how nice it is outside.
It's not bad or ghetto whatsoever.
But her apartment building is like the one I'm in now by La Federal.
Whenever I visited her apartment over the last year while living in average buildings of the Mexico City ghetto, it always leaves an impression on me.
Just how nice her place is.
Has its own security. Very modern looking building. Great view of the city on top.
And the view on top is on of normal looking neighborhoods and not the ghetto.
Damn, it's nice.
Almost feels like I'm in a different world whenever I visited.
You almost forget to ask her "so who lives here with you? The Queen of England by any chance? Any famous actors?"
Of course, it's not a building that is THAT nice for famous actors or the Queen to be living in.
But, after so much time in "the barrio," it almost kinda feels that way.
Return to La Federal
These moments do inspire me to work harder and make more money.
Especially as I get older.
While I could afford to live in Roma Norte again and spend more on food, I'm also fair in saying I'm not rich by any means.
I live frugally because 1) I'm not a millionaire by any stretch of the imagination and 2) always have been accustomed to spending as little as possible.
And part of me is naturally like that.
I don't need nice things in life.
Don't give a rats ass about nice cars for example.
But I also think that I need to grow more comfortable spending more money.
Go for the Grey Goose instead of the Oso Negro for example.
But my mind always goes to "well that's 30 dollars less that you won't have anymore."
And I don't like that.
But I do like the nicer things at times.
When it comes to apartments and neighborhoods though, it's not so much about spending more or less money but more about variety like I said.
Too much time in a nice area? I want the ghetto. Could be making 10,000 USD a month. I want the ghetto again. Some ghettos in Mexico City are fun as I wrote here. Add a thrill to life. Certain excitement. I like it.
Too much time in the ghetto? I feel like an astronaut who returned from the moon back to Earth on Apollo 11 and it does feel a little weird because the environment is different in certain ways.
Like going from a ghetto building to a nice apartment building.
Just something about it that screams "this is too nice but I like it."
Almost like an astonishment that you are back in something nice again.
But that's all that comes to mind with this topic.
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Thanks for reading.