With a wave of his hand, it was clear the man who had just paid for my bus fare would not accept any money from me. I had been trying to reach Mexicable, an air tram that carries commuters over hillside neighborhoods north of Mexico City. After doing a bit of research, I knew it was possible to get there cheaply by subway and bus instead of paying for an Uber. When I reached the end of the metro line and exited into a sea of buses, I realized it might not be so easy.
I finally found the right bus thanks to a policewoman who gave me
How much is a peso worth?
At first, I thought he just didn’t care about such a small amount of money. Later, I realized that it is not a small amount of money to many Mexicans. Commuters who come from the poor neighborhoods under the cable car probably don’t think it is cheap.
It turned out I would need a card to enter the Mexicable station as well. No problem, this time a policeman lent me his card, and he did accept the seven pesos payment from me. After my “flight” as the policeman called it, I boarded the bus back to the metro with confidence, knowing that I could just borrow a card from someone and pay them. Before I could ask, a young man in the front seat offered me his card. I dropped five pesos into his hand and thanked him, but as I found my way to the back of the bus, the woman next to him called back, “It only costs three pesos. You gave him too much.” I told her not to worry about it. Clearly, every peso is valuable to the workers here.
Beyond the wall
So why did I go to a commuter cable in the poor neighborhoods north of the city? It’s definitely not a tourist site. One reason was to see the murals painted throughout the neighborhoods visible to riders as they pass over. Another reason, as with most of my travels, was to go somewhere where I wouldn’t see another tourist and have conversations with Mexicans. I enjoyed the brief interactions I had with the several people who helped me along the way. During part of my cable ride, I was joined by a young professional “
More from Mexico City
Plazas, parks, and fountains are everywhere in Mexico City. Here are a few scenes from my first two days.