… and I am Somebody male. in my thirties. recovering alcoholic. live in minneapolis. work in progress. gay. serenity please.

The Sounds of San Marcos

07.15.2010 · Posted in Travel
  • Dynamite explosions in the mountains, intentionally set off to initiate controlled rockslides. They sound like cannonballs and if you can spot them, the smoke looks as if the mountainsides are being bombed.
  • Roosters beginning around 6:30 and going all day. Many people here have chickens and they roam around the village.
  • Street dogs barking, screeching, whimpering – either defending their territory or fighting with each other. You can tell the street dogs from the pet dogs by whether or not you can see their ribs – the street dogs are very hungry.
  • Several different types of birds, one of which sounds much like the sound effect used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Pyscho for the scene in which the knife repeatedly plunges in the shower.
  • Shanti and Zeus – tails whacking furniture, frequent gas, shaking themselves off, scratching themselves and grooming each other. Running through the yard chasing a bird, squirrel or fallen avocado.
  • Machetes hacking at weeds to clear a path, or repeatedly at trees to chop them down, one branch at a time.
  • Fruit falling from the trees onto the roof at night, causing an alarmingly loud THUNK.
  • Rain falling onto the roof, creating a pleasant and calming background noise that’s nice to fall asleep to.
  • Boats approaching the dock at high speed, coasting over the waves, their engine buzzing.
  • Various languages – English, Spanglish, Spanish and Catchequal
  • Kids playing in the schoolyard – laughing, screaming or crying, or any combination thereof.
  • Keyboards clicking at the internet cafe.
  • TukTuk motors straining to accelerate and their mufflers blowing exhaust.
  • Splashes of water made by passing TukTuks during the rain, the driver yelling out at you, “Taxi?” without slowing down.
  • Heavy foot stomps on the stone walkways.
  • Hummingbirds in the morning at Casa de Benjamin.
  • The ice cream treat vendor shaking his bell and rolling his cart up and down the path.
  • The church sermon broadcast over loudspeaker from the church beginning at 6:30 AM, spoken in Catchequal and repeated in Spanish.
  • The wailing girl broadcast from a loud speaker near barrio uno. The girl sounds 5 or 6 years old and sings in Catchequal. None of the gringos know the words, but you can tell its a sad song. This goes on for about 20 minutes at a time, throughout the day at random hours late into the night. Rumor has it that it’s a mourning song for a recent suicide in the village.
  • Street side vendors, “You wanna banana?” or “Banana bread, cake, cookies” in a drawn out manner as if they were shouting “hot dogs, beer” from a major league baseball game.
  • Rocks being stacked to repair washed out walls from the recent storms.
  • Water lapping onto the dock, as the recent rain has risen the water level so high that many docks are now under water.
  • The kitchen at LaPaz – pots and pans banging here and there, knives cutting, and the ladies laughing in conversation with each other.
  • The World Cup. There are probably only a dozen televisions in town – many of them very small, but all of them showing one thing – The World Cup. Aside from the fans’ cheers and sportscasters’ announcements, the constant buzzing of the audience noisemakers was ever-present.
  • The town boys playing soccer in the Towne Centre. Kicks, yells, the plastic ball rubbing along the concrete.
  • Frequent thunder from the almost-daily afternoon rainstorms, lasting into the night. This was sometimes indiscernible from the dynamite blasts high in the mountains.

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