Monday, December 29, 2014

The Noise

One of the toughest things for gringos moving to Latin America is the noise. Our ears are just not attuned to it and we're sometimes unable to cope with the chaos, all day long, every day and into the night. The houses here are so much more open, some, like ours, hardly with any walls at all except for the concrete barrier fences that surround the property... and people are in many ways more open too. They live together in closer quarters, and when you seek privacy, they ask you if you're sick or sad. It's no big thing to see people crowd at your gate to see what you're making for breakfast, especially if you happen to be a gringa and you've left your door open to let in the breeze.


It was interesting, then, for me to hear the perspective of a Nicaraguan who moved to Europe. I was talking with a fellow parent from the rebelangel's school about how he and his Nica wife had moved to Europe for a time, but that they ended up coming back because the wife couldn't take it.

Even the dogs were quiet, she said, and that was eery to her. She wasn't used to having to tiptoe around or to make her children be quiet in public. It was breaking her soul, he told me.

So while my Norteamericano ears are attuned to crave quiet, hers were attuned to craving noise -- that clamoring sound of brass bands roaming up and down the street, the barking dogs, the crowing roosters, the mamas shouting to their children, the cheleros shouting to their friends, the motorcycles revving into a holy tirade down the street, the children laughing, the trucks, obviously fueled by diesel, struggling up the tiniest hills, the fruit sellers calling out in voices so high you can hardly understand what they're selling, the man hawking periodicos early in the morning, delivering the liberal news of El Nuevo Diario in one hand, the more conservative La Prensa in the other, the man with the megaphone selling fresh-from-the-farm queso and crema, the horses with their jingle bells, the party bus bumping reggaeton, overflowing with Nica tourists from Managua and Leon here to party in Granada, and on and on, these noises all day long.

Is it any wonder that my Norte ears need a break in the night, and i turn to yoga and soothing sounds?


If you're in need of some soothing sounds of your own, check out this YouTube channel, Relaxing Soundz, offering soothing music, water sounds, and other chill sounds not often found this side of the Rio Grande...

1 comment:

#jessicahateshashtags said...

Love you. Your timing is perfect. My furniture is supposed to come this weekend (I'm flying baby bro in to help me move it in, since he's the only guy on the planet I can trust to make it fit if that couch is going to fit) and all I want is a fan out of my POD (well, and my bed, and my kitchen everything, and everything else I haven't seen since October, but that's another story). I'll take this YouTube white noise! Because if I sleep with the white noise app on my phone I sleep through the alarm on my phone. You're the best! Happy New Year my lovely Portland ladies!