I'm a huge fan of exploration, whether it comes in the form of adventures in a forest or in the form of long walks in a concrete jungle makes no difference to me, I just love exploring. Exploring comes in many ways but, one thing that any odyssey type shares with all the others is the feeling of amusement, the sensation of discovery, the hunch of experiencing something new, the expectation of living through things worth remembering, and the hope that, once you are getting ready to get out, while putting on your shoes and checking if you have everything you need for the challenge ahead, your greatest adventure is yet to come.
I'm a sucker for jungles, not asphalt jungles but real jungles, and if I had to pick my element, I would say jungles, then forests, then tundra, but one plays with the cards he was dealt so, since I'm stuck in a city for as long as the Covid narrative continues and the 2025 agenda is still on track, I decided to make the most of it and have some adventures of my own, even if I'm surrounded by buildings, streets, cars and noisy people that see but don't watch, that hears but don't listen, that exists without living.
But such is life, and I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of it, which is why I'm going to post about Urban Exploration every once in a while - you can't explore the city every day, and most of the times you'll come back with no real experiences and just a few pictures, which is exactly what I want to share with you guys, the Mexican part of the Urban Exploration Adventures.
Exploring the Urban scenery in Merida
A few months ago I went to Merida for work and I took the time to walk around the White City's streets, in fact I made a post about the Champs Elysee of Merida, called Paseo Montejo which turned out to have some of the most beautiful samples of colonial architecture in the country, and it is a huge country. Apart from that, I also walked around the downtown area, where most of the historical buildings are, the tourists wander, the street art lives, and the pickpocket theft happen, and I hope I find the time to post about that soon enough.
But the idea of not knowing the actual city of Merida, which is where people live, eat and die, struck me hard, because I got to know the side of the city that everyone wants you to see, but in fact I want to get to know the side of the city nobody wants you to see.
So one day when my morning appointment got cancelled I decided to walk aimlessly in the part of town nobody but locals go, and that even locals avoid if they are able to...
Merida is a very safe city in general terms, and despite the fact that robberies and house theft do happen, they are not that common, so it is quite common to find open garage doors like this one. People in the poor side of Merida live like this... not the worse conditions but, many tools and crap lying around, the grass not taken care off, trash material that's been there for ages, and well, the pic speaks for itself.
This is a motorcycle repair shop and even though most repair shops look like this, it makes no difference for me but for you, dear reader, it must mean a lot, especially if you are from the first world where shops do not look like this at all. There are pieces and replacements everywhere, perhaps they are not even usable anymore but that's just the way Mexicans deal with this, I wonder if there's a saying around the sorts of if it doesn't look like we are repairing 157 motorcycles at the same time and we don't clean the place up, people will believe we are not good repairmen or something, cause every single mom-and-pop repair shop in Mexico looks like this.
Not every house in the poor side of the city was built, sold or bought by poor people, some houses are there since before that part of town became what it is today and thus, buildings like this one are not uncommon. The sad part is, if someone bought the place and renovated it, perhaps the property value would go up but it would stay in the low end because of the neighborhood status. I asked around and there are two reasons these buildings stay as they are: The owner is asking for a ginormous amount of money, or there simply is no owner to be found, so the house will keep gathering dust and falling apart until the end of times. Or when someone occupies them illegally...
I have no idea what this was, or how it came to be like it is right now but, I can only imagine it was some sort of company building complex when we notice the almost blurred sign on top of the central one. Abandoned, for how long and until when? Who knows, but this place would be wonderful for a school, an elderly house or even a playground.
This is not the only abandoned doorway I'll show you, and it is one of probably 20 I encountered, but this one made my mind wander off, both because of what I was able to spot in the back and also because of the silent hill vibes it gave me.
This one if I recall correctly is not in the poor part of the city, but in between. This is definitely a church but it must be an abandoned one because the church in Mexico is everything but poor, so having a building like this one in the state it is must mean it is a church from a different religion than catholic which is the main (and if we are honest, only one) one in Mexico.
Judging by the door size it is probably not a church, but it can't be a house and it definitely wasn't a government building so, I'm a little bit lost here.
But, BUT, once I walked around the building to clarify what this building was back then, I realized by the cross on top it was definitely something church related, perhaps a place where monks or nuns live and pray and all that stuff.
I'm a bit obsessive so, instead of leaving it like this, I had to check the name of that kind of buildings and, this definitely had to be a convent.
If you walk around for long enough, you will find several constructions like this one that, perhaps in times of the revolution 100 years ago they were splendorous (don't ask me, I'm not an architect, I don't know how long these structures are supposed to stay unhinged and I have no idea how to assess if a structure has been deteriorated for how long) or maybe they were abandoned in one of the several economic crisis of the past 50 years... who knows, but one thing I am certain of is that all these constructions with hundreds of square meters of free ground are going to, at some point in the future, be bought and renovated by some millionaire that wants the value to go up.
It's unbelievable how well taken care off is this door, and at the same time how crappy the back looks. This is taken from another dimension, or at least it gave me that feeling. It's almost as if they want to give the worst vibe possible so people won't go inside and discover a hidden satellite station or something.
In some countries buildings have enough space between buildings to let heat and cold do their damage to the structures without actually damaging them (see? I do know some stuff about architecture from the top of my mind) but in Mexico, we have space between buildings to store fire extinguishers and to store random garbage.
Let me ask you something... How long does it take for trees to grow? How long does it take a palmtree to reach that size? Holy crap, that site must have been abandoned a few decades ago and it still holds! And most shockingly, nobody has "parashooted" the property - we call parashooting to the action of illegally entering and occupying a building, house or property in general.
I mean, the foundations are still visible from certain angles but overall, it more of a jungle than a building site.
All I could think when I stumbled upon this one is, does someone live here? If they do, wow that's a lot of chains and security so if you care so much about your house why would you have your front porch look like taken from a horror movie... if nobody lives there well, I get why it looks like this, but why would you abandon such a nice property (potentially).
I have no proof but also no doubts, in here lies the key for the police station in Resident Evil 3.
This picture in particular is out of this world:
On the one hand the people who live here have no issue with living in chaos, and have no regard for cleanliness. On the other hand, they do have a beautiful backyard with palmtrees and space for the kids to play. They are definitely two or three families, but they are all related because otherwise why would you share a garage with a neighbor you are not familiar with and most importantly, why would you leave all your belongings (as shitty as they might be) like that. I mean, this place does look abandoned, but like it was abandoned a week ago during a family gathering that everyone attended and they left outside everything from inside the house, otherwise I can't explain myself how this picture came to be.
I have no words for the picture above and below. Like, please tell me what's your take about these two in the comments. I have so many theories and at the same time, none of them seem like they give enough credit to what the pictures hold.
Take a guess, shoot in the comments.
Well, this door speaks for itself, or at least it used to speak for itself before it became an antique and was left for dead. Now it's been dead for decades and can't speak, but you get the drill.
There's more where these pictures came from, I do hope that you enjoyed walking around the poor side of Merida with me, at least half of what I enjoyed taking you with me, and at least double of what I enjoyed writing it.
Now get out of here, go vote and comment on another post after you rehive this one.