In slowing down, I’m noticing how much more of our environment I’m learning to appreciate – in particular, the sounds of Mexico.
Just sitting here at my desk today I can hear the tap tap tap of the worker chiseling away on the building down in the valley beneath us. Sometimes the sound is broken by a passing vehicle going over the cobbly terrain…sometimes Larry’s fabulous Harley motorbike booms up the street – always a good sign.
The local mounted police (yes we have mounted police here) keep their horses just up the hill from us but daily we hear the clip clop of their hooves as they descend down the hill. We’ve also worked out that Zack the dog really doesn’t like the sound of horse hooves and we know when they’re coming as he’ll start barking! As an aside – earlier this week I was driving up the hill out of town to run an errand as the mounted police were coming down the hill…I stopped to let them pass and one of the group lent down, tipped his hat and said thank you….see, folks here are ever so polite and respectful.
Other sounds include the near constant barks of local dogs – near and far. When we moved in the tenant in the apartment below us sadly left his dog at home while he went on holiday for several weeks. The poor thing was locked up most of the day going stir crazy and barking…until he lost his bark. Those were the barking sounds we didn’t like much – but most of the time it doesn’t phase us.
Mexicans love any excuse to let off fireworks – day and night. Last weekend we made the mistake of taking Zack with us to watch the Palm Sunday parade downtown. Every minute fireworks were let off from the roof of the Parroquia and poor Zack was one unhappy dog. The poor thing really didn’t like the loud bangs and took to hiding behind us – sandwiched on a step and shaking. Realising what we’d done, we retreated as soon as possible.
There are at least 15 churches in San Miguel de Allende and I think they pretty much all have bells. I love hearing the bells ring out on special days or for services – and sometimes it feels as if the sound bounces off the buildings on the other side of the valley from us and back – almost vibrating!
I don’t think we live anywhere near the railroad that passes on the other side of town but I swear that I’m sometimes stirred from an early morning slumber by the sound of a train honking!
And finally, Mexicans – young and old – know how to party, how to embrace the joy of life and suck every last bit out of it. We’ll often hear tequila fueled parties and dancing going on nearby well into the morning at weekends. Sometimes people are serenaded by one of the many mariachi bands in town. It’s wonderfully evocative!
Can you tell….we’re falling in love with Mexico!