Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All is not quiet in the Central Valley

If you have never been here, you might imagine Costa Rica as one big jungle, stretching from the Nicaragua border to Panama, the only noise being from screeching monkeys and birds. You'd be oh so wrong, however. It is loud here.

It probably isn't loud everywhere, I should clarify. It is loud where I live, and everywhere I've lived in the Central Valley (Rhormoser, Escazu, Ciudad Colon, and now Santa Ana). It is varying shades of loud, but loud, nonetheless.

For example: There is an ice cream guy who pushes his cart every single mother f'ing day one street over, and I hear him yelling "helados, helados" all morning long. I'd like to strangle that guy. Isn't that what the bell on the cart is for? (Not for strangling irritating people, but for announcing your presence when you happen to be an ice cream man.)

Then you have the barking dogs. Everyone here has dogs. I am, of course, no exception, and if you happen to be in my neighborhood, it's most likely my dogs you hear barking. And even over the din of my own dogs, I hear dogs a few miles away in every direction barking, most hours of the day and night. In fact, I hear dogs that are not mine barking right now. No one seems to care. Except my jackhole of a neighbor across the street, who by now thoroughly hates my dogs (and probably me, too).

There are the fireworks. Well, actually you can't even call them fireworks, because there are no sparkly lights to accompany the sonic blasts that threaten to burst your eardrums. These happen on every major and minor holiday, saint's day, mayor's birthday, uncle's sister's cousin's wedding, etc. What better way to celebrate, for example, the birth and/or death of our Lord than with sonic blasts, I ask you? None better, none better indeed.

Of course, you have noisy cars. The ICE guys who fix the poles in our neighborhood not only drive like bats from hell, but screech their wheels around every turn. Annoying. Someone up the way is building a house, so we've got the lovely sound of dumptrucks going up and down the street all day. They are so loud that they set my car alarm off when they go down the hill. And let's not forget the ultra-irritating cars that drive around with loudspeakers mounted on their roofs, blasting some nonsense about some sale that's going on somewhere, or some fiesta taking place -- basically things you could give a shit less about. And they always drive really slowly. Though I am a nonviolent person by nature, I do have woman-with-AK47 fantasies when those things are driving around the hood... Don't get me wrong, I'd only shoot their tires, or maybe the speakers, you know. I think. Ahem.

The street over from ours has karaoke at the neighborhood center every weekend. Every. Weekend. Karaoke. Now, true, most people cannot sing karaoke to save their own lives. But Costa Ricans? I am pretty sure they are the worst karaoke singers on the world. And they all think they can sing wonderfully. Witness the weekend t.v. shows whereby people have to sing stupid songs to win things like rice cookers if you don't believe me. They stink. Anyone here remember A Todo Dar? Enough said. So when the night peace is broken by bad karaoke, you know you're in for a treat. Fun, fun, fun!

If you are thinking of moving anywhere in the Central Valley, you might want to invest in a nice pair of earplugs. Then again, after a few years of it, you might just tune it all out.

1 comment:

  1. Dude... you just described my 'hood to a T as well.. seriously, and how many thousands of miles away are we??? :)