The Sounds of Silence in Sayulita

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
noise 1

"Mexico is a loud country."  Oh, how I wish I could remember in which guidebook I first read that.  It's something I keep trying to impress upon our guests, without actually scaring them away!  Most of the noise is fun, and short-lived.  I consider it simply loud sounds, not noise.  Roosters, dogs, car radios, the gas trucks - the many, many gas trucks - all contribute to the friendly cacophany that is Mexico.  Church bells on a Sunday (actually, pretty much any day, I'm finding); fireworks, especially on a Saturday night, to celebrate a wedding or perhaps a christening.  We're fortunate, in our guesthouse, to overlook the ballfield and the plaza in the distance, to bear witness to all that goes on in our little pueblo. 

Standing in the plaza this past Wednesday, helping all the Sayuleros and tourists celebrate el Dia de la Bandera as well as our own Sayulita Days, watching the younger children "march" and the older children proudly parade past with their flags, one thing really stayed with me:  the noise!  I went to bed that night still hearing the blaring of the wildly out-of-tune bugles and the pounding and "thrumping" of the drums.  The actual children, I don't remember so well; the noise, I will never forget.  We ran into several of our guests who were down in the village celebrating in their own ways.  Drinking beer at 10a.m.; taking photos of the children in their holiday finery.  We do seem to attract a variety of people from around the world, each one of whom brings to this village their own take on what's important.  We told them more or less what to expect and they went into it with eyes and ears wide open, and came "home" at the end of the day to show us photos and souvenirs of their day, smiles broadening across their faces as they related their stories to the others around the pool.

chicken

We've lost one booking to roosters.  They claimed there were ten on our land at one time.  We know for a fact (even though we were in Montreal at the time) that there couldn't have been more than three, perhaps four.  How do we know this?  Because we chose to believe it, just as they chose to believe that there were ten.  Perception is 9/10th of the loud, if you'll pardon the atrocious play on words.  They chose to hear 10 roosters (frankly, an impossibility, unless you're some way down Ninos Heroes or in Mangal) and we chose to hear two.  Four, if we're being sympathetic.  One couple phrased it nicely when they said:  "Really, being woken by roosters in Sayulita is so much better than being woken by garbage trucks in Manhattan."  And the next best thing to being woken by roosters is being woken by nothing.  Surf.  Birdsong.  The dog nuzzling my face.  Or even better, The Husband nuzzling my face.  But I'm always awake by that point so why dwell on the impossible.