Monday, February 6, 2012

The Noise of Another Place

Tom and I recently spent a week in Bucerias, Nayarit, Mexico, just north of Puerto Vallerta.  Endless beach, blue skies, flowering bougainvillaea - I slept in late, went to bed early, walked every day and enjoyed the sun on my face.  I had time to read (Lacuna, by Barbara Kingsolver, and Welcome to the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan), to paint and draw - it was the most relaxing week I've ever spent.

But Tom and I were both astonished at the "soundtrack" of daily life there: the shrieking steam whistle of a peanut roaster on the sidewalk, the competing loud speakers on trucks filled with strawberries or watermelons, the music in every restaurant - sometimes recorded and sometimes strolling musicians with guitars (or, in one case, a trumpet player with a young son playing the drums).  One day we saw a parade with musicians walking down the street.  And at the end of the week commemorating the local patron saint, the carnival had several competing bands, all playing at once.  I loved being there, but by the end of the week I was ready to go back to my quiet world.