There is no need for an alarm clock! Every morning around 5:30am, there is un pequeño hombre Mexicano (a little Mexican man) that walks up and down each street, with a hand-held ringing bell like the one my elementary school teacher would ring to let us know that recess was over. While this pequeño hombre mexicano is walking up and down each street ringing his bell, he is yelling, "¡Éste es su nuevo día! Hora de despertar y de gozar de lo que le ha dado dio". Which means, "This is your new day! Time to wake up and enjoy what God has given you." He reaches my street, Doctores Villada, around 5:30am EVERY MORNING! Neighbors say he has been doing this, waking the neighborhood, for more than 30 years, now. Hence, there is no need for an alarm clock.
I live in Colonia Doctores, which is a barrio or an area of Mexico City. Just as New York has its five boroughs - Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, Mexico City has many barrios (boroughs in English), as well. This morning, I went for a run. The day begins early around here! You may here a man walking down each street at 7am yelling, "GAS! GAS! GAS!", in which he is selling tanks of gas for the casa or departamento. And, if someone needs a tank, they yell from their window, "AQUI!". Then the guy selling the tanks of gas yells back to his co-worker the same thing and his co-worker comes running down the street rolling the tank of gas, as the tank is very heavy! Also, every morning, there is a guy that pushes his three-wheeled bicycle with a very large basket attached yelling, "AGUAAA..., AGUAAA..., AGUAAA..."! The giant basket is filled with about 30 of those large, blue jugs of drinking water for sale (like the ones in an office). All very interesting and exciting to see!
Vendors are already set-up to begin selling their merchandise...whether it is the little Mexican lady sitting on a blanket on the ground selling little necklaces and little Aztec-like purses and things of the such, to the 'real deal' taco stands, nothing like Taco Bell, only better! So many different smells from pollo (chicken), carne (beef), jamon y juevos (ham and eggs), fruta fresca (fresh fruit), frijoles or habas (beans), arroz (rice), maiz (corn) and much more. The streets are busy ALL DAY LONG! You can get desayuno (breakfast), almuerzo (lunch) and cena (dinner) all in one quick side-street stop for less than 26 Pesos which is less than $2.00USD...VERY SATISFYING AND TASTY MEALS!
Don't get it twisted, however, DF, is an entrepreneurial, business oriented and multi-faceted metropolis. Some of the worlds largest global companies are located here. This is a great international location to live in, work in, play in and experience true Cultura Mexicana at its best! The hustle and bustle of the city will eat you alive if you do not have tough skin. This place is similar to New York, but on a much larger scale and with 20.1 million people, including me, cohabitating together! If you like the slow life,this is not the place for you. You will get ran over, walked over, biked over, motor-scootered over, bused over...all the overs you can think of! I use "DF" because this is Distrito Federal. Like DC, District of Columbia...Washington, DC (the US's nations capital), well Mexico City, DF (Mexico's nations capital).