Mexico City is a big city, with a serious traffic problem…But today, several negative factors came together. Just so that you get an idea of what it is like to live in a megapolis of an emerging market:
1. Today is Friday – Friday evening rush-hour is the worst of the whole week…I guess it is not that more people go to work than from Monday to Thursday, but that people go out on Friday night or leave the city heading for their weekend homes.
2. Today is the second Friday in the month, i.e. people get paid (Mexicans get paid every quinzena, every “15 days”). And when Mexicans get paid, they like to spend it; so more people go to cantinas, bars, restaurants and cinemas on “quinzena” Friday than the other one.
3. Today it rained. Despite the fact that it rains nearly half of the year in Mexico (from May to October, usually), every day, traffic becomes so much slower when it does. It has to be said, though, that we are in March, when rain is extremely unusual here. And, on top of that, hail came down today…
4. Today is the last school day before Easter vacation, the most important family vacation in Mexico besides the xmas holidays.
My son attended a birthday party today. The girl, who invited all the kids of their grade, lives about 10 kilometers away from us. Unfortunately, the route is prone to traffic congestion. Parents organized car pools to pick up the kids. My phone has been in constant reception of WhatsApp messages commenting on how heavy the traffic is, etc. I am calculating that it will take my son and his friends about 90 minutes to get home…That is what it is like to live in a megapolis of an emerging economy.