This story is over 5 years old.

A Mexican In... Vienna

Vice: Why did you decide to move to Vienna?

Mariana Garci-Crespo Vice: Why did you decide to move to Vienna? Mariana: Because of art. I studied linguistics and opera, and Vienna is the birthplace of opera. I love Vienna. When you think about subcultures, is there a difference between Mexico City and Vienna? Mexican subculture is just like Austrian subculture. I love punk and lived on the streets in Puebla for six months when I was 16. The place was called the Chopo, a zone in Mexico City where kids gathered to live and form gangs. Because I look foreign and wouldn’t be identified as a Mexican, I lived with the foreign street kids. What made you stop being a punk and become an opera singer? After returning to Puebla from boarding school in the US, I decided to move to Mexico City on my own to find out what the world was about. Eventually I found out what I really wanted. I wanted to live here and sing opera, and living in the streets wasn’t going to bring me there. Do you give punks change? Of course, because in a way I can understand them. We all have different stories. What’s your favorite Mexican punk band? Most of the bands I listened to don’t exist anymore, but my favorites are Fobia, who play a mixture of ska and punk, and I also like the Caifanes. Mexico is often portrayed as a poor, corrupt country and a mecca for criminals. Cliché or reality? Reality. But Mexico is huge, so it really depends on which zone you’re in. Mexico is as corrupt as any other place in the world if you ask me. It’s just not so undercover because the system works differently. There is a lot of criminality and there are also gated communities. It’s very extreme. You can go from extreme poverty to a very luxurious life. Which clichés about Vienna did you have in your mind before you came here? A cliché about the people is that they are very conservative, which of course isn’t true. Another cliché was that Austrians are unfriendly and xenophobic. My experience was the opposite. Everyone has been very nice, friendly, and helpful to me—except for the older generation. What do you miss the most since you left? I miss the sun, of course. I get confused sometimes when I see the sun and leave my house half-naked, then I’m freezing and have to go back home to change my clothes. And I really miss fruit juice, just the variety of fruits.