some thoughts on mexico city

I’ve been working in Mexico City for the past three weeks. To be honest, I’d never really thought much about Mexico City before. I never thought to vacation there because… who vacations there rather than Playa del Carmen? I’d never thought to live there because… I don’t know; I just didn’t. But now, it’s pretty much my dream post. I’d rather go to Mexico City than any of the big western European capitals. Really.

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Why? Well, there’s as much culture and development as in those places, but it’s all way more accessible. My morning bus ride cost less than 10 cents. A 15-minute taxi ride was about $3. Sure, you can go to high-end clothing stores or super fancy restaurants and spend what you’d spend in Madrid, all that exists in Mexico City too, but you don’t have to. And you can have full-time household help for the same price as in Guadalajara — with kids, that’s key.

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Guadalajara is a great post and a great place to live, but I came away from my stay in Mexico City thinking that Guadalajara is Atlanta to Mexico City’s NYC. Guadalajara is preppy. Mexico City is hipster. In Guadalajara, outdoor playgrounds are substandard because it’s just not much of an outdoor playground sort of culture. Mall playgrounds are way better because you get in your car and go to malls; that’s just what people do. The wealthy live in gated communities, whereas in Mexico City they live in brownstones or swanky apartments. People walk in Mexico City. There are sideway cafes to walk to. There’s also a thriving public transportation system and parks and playgrounds galore (better than most in the U.S., actually).

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Anyway, keep Mexico City in mind next time you bid. It really is a hidden gem. Or don’t. Actually, it’s awful. Definitely don’t bid on it. Then our odds of getting ourselves posted there will be better. 🙂

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3 Responses to some thoughts on mexico city

  1. Zoe says:

    Mexico City is an ever-so-remote option for us the next time we bid. It indeed does seem awesome.

  2. David Rocha says:

    Hi Alex
    I’m from México City and from quite some time one of my goals is to become a Foreign Service Officer for my country. (I’m currently working as a federal employee but not in the correct career path). Last year I take the exam and reach the finalists but I didn’t get a job offer. I’m planning to take it again as soon as possible.
    I made a lot of research and found some interesting things for example the Benjamin Franklin Library from the US Embassy, the book Career Diplomacy Life and Work in the US Foreign Service; the Yahoo groups of the FSOT and of course your blog! I really enjoyed it! You have an amazing family and that’s the kind of life I truly want for me too.
    Obviously some things remain pretty much the same but others are quite different between the services.
    In one of your posts you mention how difficult is to really know locals and make friends so if you and Andy would like to have a cup of coffee and a nice chat I would really like to meet you guys!
    Yours truly
    David

  3. Thomas says:

    My friend’s first post is Mexico City. She’s only been there a month or so now. Hearing about her run through A-100 and language classes was too much, so I’m in the application process. Wish me luck getting to and passing the OA next. 🙂

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