Mom always said, if you are going to pick on someone, you should always say something nice first, so I’lI start by saying how much I love Mexico and it’s people. I really do and it is a wonderful country. Having said that, is there any way possible you guys can turn the volume down on this place just a little bit though! As an American, one of the first things you notice when you live here full time is how loud it is. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, the volume seems to be full throttle and sometimes I can’t even seem to hear myself think. And those who know me, know that if there is one thing I like more than listening to myself talk, it is listening to myself think!
The funny thing is, loud noise doesn’t seem to bother Mexicans in the least. They can sleep, converse, watch TV or whatever, right through the loudest of loud. The first all-night, speaker bursting, streetparty/ drunkfest I experienced in my neighborhood was quite a shock for me. It wasn’t that it happened that was the shock I suppose. The shock was that nobody seemed to care or even notice. Nobody called the police, yelled shut up or anything?? When I asked the neighbors the next day, most said they either got up and joined the party or didn’t hear a thing. I have since figured out that I was just not acclimated yet. These days, with proper ear plugs, this gringo could sleep through a Tigres Del Norte concert. Frequently do as a matter of fact. Both CDs, over and over … .
The stores and the malls are just as loud or even louder. In the US, the local supermarket always had some sterile and inoffensive Yani music that I could easily ignore and focus on the task at hand, figuring out what to buy that wasn’t on my list and where were all the ladies with the samples on the toothpicks were. Going to the large supermarkets here is like going to a rage, except everyone gets a shopping cart instead of ecstasy. The music is always techno-Mex, boombidy, boombidy, boom stuff, turned up so loud that when you enter the store, it is like getting hit with a wall of wind. Your hair shoots back and your eyeballs actually recess into your face. Once inside, thank goodness, the volume drops to just annoyingly loud. I never thought I’d miss Yani!
If you walk down a main shopping street, the music at the entry of the stores is also full blast. There might be a shoe store next to a pharmacy and both will be playing ear piercing, but different, boombidy boom stuff. What does boombidy boom have to do with medicine or a pair of boots? And why so loud?? Once again, Mexicans act as if the music is not there. You might see two little old ladies, who you know have to hate boombidy boom as much as I do, looking into a window and deciding which black shoes would look best at church next week. How do they do that?? I have to walk across the street.
Even conversations are loud here, but not because Mexicans, from what I can tell, are louder than anyone else. In fact, they might even be a bit more soft spoken than many of the not so soft spoken Texans I grew up with. The difference is that Mexicans all talk at once, and then that quickly leads to all trying to talk over one another and so on. Before you know it, the restaurant you are in looks and sounds like the New York Stock Exchange. So of course what does the restaurant do? They turn up the music!
So next time you come visit us here in Costa Maya, expect the water to be blue, the sand to be white and the drinks to be cold. Expect the people to be friendly, the scenery beautiful and the food wonderful. Okay Mom, I said something nice. But also, expect to talk a bit louder, acquire a taste for techno-Mex boomdidy-boom and to sleep with ear plugs. Saludos!