I was used to working independently so settling in to the new place and work routine was fairly easy. The hot & steamy weather hadn’t really started so it was pleasant in my office with just the ceiling fan and an oscillating fan by the window. The internet worked well and the Vonage phone was as good as any landline.
The neighborhood turned out to be quirky. I jokingly called it my little “hood”- very typical middle class and mostly nice folks. Even on some of the “sketchy looking” side streets I never felt unsafe. My neighbor across the street had chickens & a rooster. A really old rooster apparently. His early morning “cock-a-doodle-doos” sounded as if he had a very sore throat- almost hoarse. He started up around 530am every morning- wakeup signal for breakfast to the cats. Three sets of ears perked right up and were quickly followed by insistent meows for food. Yes, it was early but those cats were great company for me so I fed them and then went back to bed for a bit.
On one side of me was a Mexican style boarding house- a courtyard area with studio size units/rooms on both sides. Dining, washing & cooking, socializing (which include late night karaoke and lots of beer drinking) all took place in the communal courtyard. There was a man I called the “street mechanic” and his family who lived there. By day he was on the curb (early) in front of the house doing car repairs. He was apparently well-known as he never seemed to lack for clients. It was a bare-bones operation. With good old “make it work” attitude he used whatever he could source on the street as the support jacks to raise a car up to work on it- big rocks, cinder blocks, scraps of wood, etc. Cars & trucks were often quite precariously balanced on them.
On the other side of me was a fairly well-off family who was in the taxi business. It was a pretty big 2 story house that also had a covered outdoor courtyard space with a full kitchen and dining area. These folks loved to entertain- late night & “club” loud. On weeknights (usually Wednesday & Thursday) their get togethers started around 10p and didn’t end until around 3 or 4am. The guests must have all been very hard of hearing as the music blasted at disco levels with heavy thumping base notes. Even with my windows closed and the A/C turned on it was impossible to sleep. After a few of these parties I could identity certain guests by their drunken laughter and very loud and not-so-good attempts to sing. With as much money as they spent on food & drink they never invested in much music- same old 3 or 4 songs over and over. By far the most annoying neighbors ever.
The same annoying neighbors with their week night parties apparently had a very large family. Sunday parties with family were as bad as the weeknight adult events- just larger crowds and lots of kids and much longer parties. For several of their events they set up a “bouncy house” that was less than 2 feet from my living room/office window. They were having fun- I wasn’t. Their Sunday fun started around 3p and went on until midnight. With these larger get togethers it was so loud that I had to invent places to go and things to do to escape the din and screams of the “little darlings” and the drunk adults and karaoke- with those same 3 or 4 songs. Ay yay yay
You are probably thinking “so why didn’t you call the police. Surely there are noise ordinances.” I did enquire with my Mexican friends and owner of the house I was renting. There are noise ordinances but really applied only in the tourist zones in the central part of town. In the local neighborhoods the police are reluctant to respond and won’t do much if they do. With a noise complaint they can only request offenders to turn down music, lower noise, etc.
Because my neighbors were “Taxistas” they had connections and knew the local police. Nothing I could say or do would get the police involved. Big AY YAY YAY. Thankfully these parties occurred only once every few weeks. Whenever I saw suppliers & caterers arriving I would start my “escape plans”. There would be no peace & quiet later that day!
Internet, carrots & celery in the next chapter!
Until next time, feliz viaje.