It is 3:24 A.M. For the past hour, some ASSHOLE on a motorcycle with NO MUFFLER has been ROARING back and forth in front of my house going at least 60 miles an hour. He seems to be making a U turn around the plaza and roaring back again. This has happened at least 6 times, which makes 12 passes past my bedroom window which is about 5 feet from the street. I have an urge to go grab the garbage cans everyone has put out on the curb to make a barricade across the street. What idiot does this on a main street running through a village where everyone is sleeping?
In 2.5 hours, the tortilla shop across the street will start up its tortilla-making machine with its round of loud rhythmic SQUEAKS that will render sleep impossible. Forty-five minutes later, the first huge cement trucks will make their inital journeys past my window to begin their continual all-day trips back and forth to Tamarindo, where the Four Seasons is building a huge resort hotel. Why they go out of their way to come through town rather than using the dirt road that leads directly to the resort from the highway, I don’t know. Possibly it is just to allow them to chew up the new pavers in town…or for the fun of coating all the parked cars along the way with a 1/4 inch thick coat of dust.
In four and a half hours, the usual hum of cars will begin, along with the gas truck singsonging “Zeta, Zeta, Zeta Gass.” or “Ghhhhaaaaaasssssssss,” depending on which company it is. The water truck will make its distinctive announcement, the knife-sharpener will pedal by sounding his thin piping whistle, vegetable vendors will announce their menu of fresh fruits and veggies via loudspeaker, cars will make passes through town announcing events, and the plastic vendors, bulk soap vendors, scrap metal collectors and general traffic will begin its ritual parade past my window. No chance for motorcycle morons to pass at anything but a fairly normal speed, which detracts from their pure pleasure of speed combined with DEAFENiNG NOISE!
Ironically, on the other side of my rental is just the pounding of the night surf, relaxing and lulling. Oh, that they hadn’t converted the garage that opens directly onto the street into the only bedroom on the ground floor of this beach rental that was years ago split into two rentals…upstairs and down…one of the three bedrooms upstairs converted into a kitchen/dining room/sitting room, while a bedroom was provided for the downstairs rental by the method just described of converting the streetside garage into the only bedroom. Perhaps the time has come for me to begin sleeping in the hammock on the porch adjoining the beach.
The first month after I moved to Mexico sixteen years ago, I wrote a piece entitled, “In Mexico, There Is Always Music.” It talked about the constant bird calls, mule brays, cattle lowings, dogs barking, fireworks, church bells, parties, fiestas, cocks crowing, generators, air brakes on the highway far below, frogs, cicadas, insects, hummingbird whirrs, rhythms of fully-laden donkeys on cobblestones or shod horses moving at a faster pace past my house in San Juan Cosala.
But here in La Manzanilla, those sounds are augmented and added to by the even more irritating sounds of busy village life. Yes, it is paradise, but here on the road side of my idyllic beach bungalow, IT CAN BE DAMN HARD TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP!!!!