1. Your vocabulary has a significant amount of “ch” words.
You can either love it or hate it, but you know dozens of words infested with ch: chido, choncho, chingón, chole, chamuco, chemo, chocho, chicho, chota, chimengüenchón, etc. People call you chilango and you use the lyrics of “Chilanga Banda” (popularized by Café Tacvba) to give spanish lessons to your friends, because that’s the way people talk in Mexico… according to you anyway.
2. You use the term provincia…
To refer to any place in Mexico outside the City.
3. You know the treasures that lie beneath a bicycle with a basket covered in blue plastic.
Food! And not just any kind of food, tacos de canasta (tacos in a basket) are one of the best options to ease your afternoon munchies. The guys who sell this delicacy are the only street vendors that don’t need to shout out their product to attract a hungry crowd — they’re that good.
4. You order cheese with your quesadillas.
Quesadillas in Mexico City are not synonymous with cheese. There are etymological reasons that relate cheese (queso) with this traditional Mexican treat, and every Mexican outside Mexico City makes fun of chilangos for this inconsistency. Forget about semantics, if you don’t order cheese, you won’t get any.
5. You consider yourself traffic proof.
Dedicating two or three hours to daily commuting sounds perfectly normal. You have had your share of amazing sunsets from the second level of periferico and something tells you that if you would have used all those wasted hours behind the wheel learning a new language, you’d have mastered most of the world’s languages by now.
6. You have partied in a trajinera.
One of Mexico City’s party classics: lots of food and lots of alcohol in a not quite steady vessel that lacks a proper bathroom, but makes up for it with a unique vibe.
7. Earthquakes under six degrees don’t even count.
You don’t even feel those small ground movements anymore. Even when you do feel them, you’ll continue with your routine as if nothing’s happening. However, you know exactly what to do when things get shakier.
8. You know what an environmental contingency simulation is like.
While school children in some other places go through fire and earthquake simulations, you got trained to confront a scarier threat: the attack of suspended particles!
9. You refer to the road safety officers as tamarindos.
This is the legacy of that horrendous brown uniform (tamarind colour) they used to wear back in the day.
10. A sinking building is just one of those everyday nuisances.
You’ve heard the stories of how Aztecs built their city in the middle of a lake? Well, it turns out that this is pretty accurate and we are suffering the consequences of that decision. Crooked monuments, perpetual maintenance in old buildings, and sinkholes that open up under the weight of a garbage truck are some of those weird things you’ve learned to live with.
11. You know that public transportation has a wild side.
Traveling with half your body outside of a microbus, being stuck between the Metro doors, and getting off a bus that’s still moving are just some of the adventures that have spiced up your commute. Becoming a victim of the public transport in Mexico City is just a matter of time.
12. Of every single place you know for dining out…
More than half are taquerias. Those colorful, smelly, ubiquitous places that open late at night are great options to grab a bite after a good party, or to fortify yourself for the next one.
13. Some phrases are just a part of your soul.
“Lleve sus ricos y deliciosos tamales oaxaqueños”