Compared to our dive adventure last week this week has been a little excitement-free. The dog and I have been hanging around the house more than usual this week in an effort to save on gas. Every morning between 330am-4am the neighbor's roosters (yes, plural) start crowing. They have very distinct calls and usually take their turns 1-2-3 but occasionally the third rooster gets too wrapped up in his calls and breaks the pattern. I know this because although rooster #1 has an low, short call and rooster #2 has a mid-level, longer tone (classic), rooster #3 has a high-pitched squawk that sounds as if someone is chasing it with a butcher's knife. Which someday, somebody probably will, but not likely at 4am. E and I have joked that this rooster sounds as if it is arriving from hell every morning, banshee-style. Now, once the roosters have woken you up, you have to get up and pee. The walk to the bathroom in the dark house is punctuated by the roosters' crows that get louder as you get to the bathroom because this room is at the back of the house and it's tiled so the sound echoes as well.
This is just one of the sounds that greet you in the morning. After the roosters wake up all the other animals, the labrador and german shephard start barking from the same neighbor's yard. And they bark every 30 seconds or so until their breakfasts are served - which is not until 8am or so. Add to the crowing and the barking, our neighbor to the side's chihuahua which starts whining upon hearing the bigger dogs barking from over the fence. Our bedroom window faces this side neighbor's yard so we get the full effect of the whine. The whine wakes up the neighbor, a woman in her early 40's, who then turns on FULL BLAST one of her 2 favorite CDs at the moment. Take your pick between "Creedance Clearwater Revival's Greatest Hits" or an album I can't even imagine what its name is but is basically a collection of 1 young female singer, singing in spanish (and with non-corresponding lyrics - so annoying!) pop hits from the 80's and 90's. The CD contains, "Every Breath You Take", "Piano Man", "Unbreak My Heart", "Total Eclipse of the Heart" among others. I think I actually prefer the CCR album if only because it's the original versions of the songs. The younger mexican singer on the second album makes you think you're hearing the original versions but it's not as satisfying. And because our neighbor hasn't figured out all the words to the CCR album so she can't sing along as she does with the Cover Songs Album. And she sings at the top of her lungs, usually adding a poetic, "ay! ay! aaaaay!" to the particularly sad moments of "Unbreak My Heart".
So once her music (and possible singing) are added to the mix, we know it's time to get out of bed and for E to go to work. Once M hears our activity in the house, he starts crying and scratching at the front door for an early playtime. Sitting on the patio reading emails and blogs after E leaves, I still bear witness to the cacaphony. The singing neighbor goes to work, but her chihuahua continues to whine. The roosters continue regularly until about 10am. The neighborhood comes to life as the sun comes up over the mountain. Cars and trucks without mufflers race through the neighborhood (for the first time in my life I find myself thinking, "slow down! there are children and animals playing here!"), some busses ramble through. And the pick-up trucks selling various produce and products start winding their way through the streets, playing either their jingles or loug voiceovers to announce that they're on their way. The pick-up truck selling big containers of water is the most punctual. I nearly always clock them between 7:32-7:34am. Scattered throughout the morning, we are also offered tomatoes, bananas, propane tanks, ice cream and the occasional Christian outreach. All this activity gives M plenty of opportunities to race down the length of the yard to see who is passing by the gate.
As you've probably guessed by now there are no noise ordinances in this town. No noise "pollution". Which means we cannot report our neighbors for their barking dogs or music that blasts until 6am. E was surprised when I first brought up the noise issue - he could hardly believe someone could actually be fined or go to jail for making noise on their own property. The noise used to really annoy me but I think I've grown used to it now. Makes it feel more cozy around here if you just know how to combat the noise (e.g. earplugs, turning fan on to make white noise, closing the windows, etc). Writing this now, I'm reminded of one particularly rowdy night we had at the house. Several friends were over and we were singing, yelling, playing music and carrying on and I must've said something about how much noise we were making, as it was pretty late. E said something like, "Oh who cares?? All our neighbors make so much noise at other times, it's our turn!!" And he started barking like a dog! Then another friend start crowing like a rooster, another making engine "vroom" noises. I stared in disbelief. Then I joined in - "baaahing" like the goat that our neighbor had at the time. We made quite a symphony! Some pics from our Sunday -