Name: Montserrat Arcos, alias Montse or Mon.
Where are you from? México City
How long have you lived in México City? 30 years
What do you do? I’m a journalist and ‘curvy’ blogger
Where can we see your work? curvasfelices.com
Tell us about Mexico and what it is famous for?
Oh my God, challenging question! Well, Mexico City is a big city that even the people living there could never fully see it. I mean it. For me, there is always something new to know, a lot of places to go to. Not only, New York, but Mexico is also a city that never sleeps, because, you know, we like ‘Fiesta‘ a lot! Haha! And it has so many contrasts: very rich people, poor people, magical places, ugly places, very safe places, very dangerous places. Something curious is that when the famous painter, Salvador Dalí, came to Mexico City, he said: “I’m never getting back to Mexico City because I can’t stand that there is something more surreal than my paintings!” And yes, there are traffic jams every day, all day.
What are three best-kept secrets of Mexico City, which only the locals are aware of?
- Where you can buy tacos — in your locality (yes, that knowledge is essential)
- The police are very corrupt so that you can solve almost everything with money (sad but true).
- Mexicans are ALWAYS late. So, if you have been invited to a party at 6 pm, the host is expecting you to arrive at 8 or 9 pm.
What are foods that one should taste in Mexico and where can we find it?
- Pozole (traditional Latin American soup — dried corn based — that’s been served since pre-Columbian times) and quesadillas (flour tortilla filled with cheese and other ingredients). Place: La Casa de Toño. To die for!
- Tacos. Place: Los Chupacabras or El Borrego viudo. OMG!
- Barbacoa (tender, shredded meat-based dish) and Chiles enogada (poblano chiles stuffed with a mixture of meat and dried fruits, covered in walnut sauce). Place: Hacienda Los Morales.
But there are many other places too; it all depends on where you are
Best places to shop…
- For international brands, you can go to Perisur, Centro Comercial Santa Fe and Reforma 222.
- For regular stuff, Alameda Central and Centro Histórico.
Three sights one should see
- Las trajineras of Xochimilco: is a lagoon, and you can take a typical Mexican boat where you can eat. Ask for ‘mariachi’.
- Paseo de la Reforma is the most beautiful street in Mexico City. A lot of shops, restaurants, beautiful buildings. A lovely place to walk.
- Zócalo The heart of the city where ancestors arrived in the past and set their empire. Then the Spanish arrived too and set their churches and houses. Next, to the cathedral, there are pyramid ruins from Aztecas so that you can see this fusion between natives and Spanish.
What a traveler should know about Mexico
- Don’t take a taxi. I’m ashamed to say it, but I wouldn’t take a street taxi just like that…it’s dangerous. It’s preferable to ask at your hotel for taxi numbers and, although they are more expensive, your safety is entirely worth it.
- It’s better to ask at the lobby of the hotel you are staying about the safe and not-so-safe streets…and of course, don’t go to the no safe streets.
- Mexican people are jubilant and friendly. They know how to party seriously. So, it’s pretty sure you can have a good time.
- Mexican food is for strong stomachs. So, be careful with the food. It’s delicious, but you have to get used to it because it’s spicy..if a Mexican tells you something is not spicy, DON’T BELIEVE IT! Try it first and then proceed.
Three things a traveler should do in Mexico
- Drink tequila.
- Go to little marketplaces to shop and eat for very very good prices.
- Party with Mexican people at Centro Histórico (historic center). Again: fiesta, fiesta, fiesta!
Finally, what are the three things a traveler should not do in Mexico
- Do not stay at your hotel because “everything is dangerous.”
- Don’t stop yourself from trying the local food, because “it’s so spicy.”
- Do not go to fancy restaurants. I mean it, the people that live here know that the best food is the one you find on the street (but first ask someone who is from the city, don’t choose randomly).