I got sent by my company to work in Monterrey, Mexico for a few months. The opportunity is definitely great because it means I have another reason to travel around the world. This also gives me an excuse to deeply understand a foreign culture, to learn their language and history.
In order to work in Mexico for an extended period of time, you must apply for a visa and then exchange it with a resident ID. The process is long and comprehensive. In order to get your resident ID, you must be physically present at Mexico City, because the immigration officers need to interview you and get your fingerprint stamps.
When I arrive at Mexico City, I have a pretty good impression about the place. To my surprise, the city is pretty commercialized with many American enterprises. For example, on my way to my hotel, I see a Costco, HomeDepot, Wallmart, Sam's Club and multiple 7-elevens. On the road, people mostly drive Nissans, Acura and Toyotas. My driver told me that Kia is relatively new and is trying to enter the Mexican market.
The hotel I'm staying at is located at the Polanco area, which is the commercial district of Mexico City. Many multi-national enterprises have offices in this area, including GM, Canon, TransCanada etc. Conveniently, I am staying right beside my office. However, since my purpose in Mexico City is to get my resident ID, I really only have 4 days total in Mexico City.
Nearby my hotel is a McDonald. I'm very interested to see the cost of living in Mexico by checking out the cost of a Big Mac. Remember, the Big Mac Index is a pretty good indication of the cost of living in a city. So in Mexico, a Big Mac costs $44 mexican pesos, which is about $3.67 CDN. A Big Mac in Toronto is about $4.67 CDN. I hope everything else is just as cheap.
I must make the most that I can in Mexico City in the next 4 days. According to the driver, this city has over 1,200 museums! The selection of museums ranges from archaeology to modern arts, from tequeila history to rocket science. I personally have heard of the one great museum called Museo Nacional de Anthropologia. I am also interested to check out the Teotihuacan Heritage Site, a Mayan ruin.
Hopefully that I will have enough time.