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Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 60
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 5:09 pm    Post subject: Quiet Reply with quote

Iíve been planning for a yearlong to 2-year stint teaching EFL in Mexico. I was talking with a friend who lives down there, and he recently mentioned to me that Mexico is a noisy culture to live in. Hereís what he said about the noise in the city where he lives:

It's not unusual to have people in a next-door apartment who blast their stereo at all hours of the day or night, or have a rock band that practices in their apartment until well beyond midnight most nights, or a freelance mechanic who works on cars all night long in the street 20 feet from your bedroom, or dogs next door that bark all night long, or city buses without mufflers passing in front of your apartment every 20 minutes between 5:00 a.m. and midnight, or . . . the list goes on and on.

Maybe Iím uptight, but this is pretty discouraging news to me. When I come home from a hard day's work, the last thing I want is to put up with a bunch of noise. Anyway, I like to come home to a quiet place. So, do any of you have any suggestions where thatís possible on an EFL teacherís salary (in Mexico or not)? Muchos gracias.
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Quiet Reply with quote

When I was in Guadalajara I lived in a room that was right ona busy street and boy, was it loud! Buses were constantly passing by and it was impossible to sleep in. I could also hear the horse carriages go by. That was loud too. Oh, and did I mention the garbage truck that went by early on Saturday mornings? It was very loud there. Later, I changed rooms to one on the back of the house and it was like a dream! I never had to worry about all that noise. I did hear an occasional stereo during the afternoon, but it wasn't too loud, and they never played it during the night. When I was in Guanajuato, it was very quiet except for the dogs barking at night. But what's that compared to loud buses? Some parts of Mexico are loud but I think you can avoid some of that by where you live.
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Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It definitely depends on where you live. I lived for two years in a small town just outside the city. Even within a small town, the area around the church, town hall and businesses (el centro) is much noisier than just a street or two away where there are mostly houses.

In any case, there are many things you are going to have to get used to while living in another culture. You are going to have to be very flexible and accept things that you would not be willing to accept at home. Take things a day at a time and try not to overthink the move. Smile
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2583
Location: The Mexican Hinterland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 2:51 pm    Post subject: Mexico's dirty little secret Reply with quote

Crying or Very sad I think that you just stumbled on Mexico's dirty little secret, when it comes to foriegners living here anyway. The thing you never expected. The thing no one told you about. It wasn't in any of the guide books. It wasn't in the "jobs information journal". Or anywhere else, but boy is it true. Mexico must be one of the noisiest places in the world. In the center of any town you will probably be able to clearly hear at least three different types of music at any given time, and there will be more that you can't hear clearly enough to identify.

The churches will let off fireworks for 12 days around their saints day. If you live in a town with 30 churches(as I do)--that makes 360 days of fireworks a year. Did I mention that these fireworks start at 5:00am and are often accompanied by amplified music? Sometimes the music is a brass band, made up of people who never had (but need) formal musical training. Sometimes the music is old ladies singing. Sometimes it is old records of old ladies singing. The stop this durning the day, but usually pick it up again around sunset until like midnight, so you can sleep from midnight until 5:00. Unless this is the night of the "baile" when a nortena or cumbia band or sometimes both, will be playing in the church yard with crazy crazy crazy speakers. We're talking speakers the size of a house.

And of course there are the private parties, the weddings, 15 anos, baptisims, presentaciones, and 25th 30th 35th 40th 45th 50th 55th 60th wedding aniversaries. Horrible if you live near an events hall, but around here, people usally just put a tarp up over the street and have the party infront of their house. Aparently talking is not desirable at these parties, because the music is so loud that you can't have a normal converstion anywhere in a five block radius. I guess the love is directly portorioned to the decimble level.

Someone else mentioned the dogs. There are many dogs on the streets at night, they run in packs and if they find a female in heat--it's worse than the cats!

There are also children. There seems to be no concept of having a specific bedtime for the youngsters, so if you have an apartment, next to or worse under a young family. There is a lot of screaming and running around late into the evening, as the children get tired (but aren't put to bed) it gets worse because they are cranky (naturally!) and start having tanturms.

On the topic of cars, trucks and buses, I don't find the engines as much as a problem around here, it is more of the car stereos. We have these people called "cholos" who in the local dialect are people who have gone to the US and returned, returned with the style of lationo gangs. Which includes those mega mega earthquake bass speakers in car stereo systems. One of my drinking glasses was broken when one of these cars stopped infront of my house and the floor was shaking and shook the glass right off the table! Then there are the breaks. See in Mexico speed is not controled by patroling police with radar guns, speed is controled by topes--speed bumps. When young men are cruising around with their friends (in cars brought down from New Jersey or Oregon) they go kind of fast and they are talking and checking out the girls on the corner then suddenly right infront of them is a speed bump and they have to slamm on the breaks.

I think that about covers it...
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Guy Courchesne

Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9646
Location: Guadalajara

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 3:20 pm    Post subject: turn it down! Reply with quote

I'll agree on the noise issue...though it depends on where you are. As I write this, my nieghbour has her stereo at full blast, starting at 8 this morning, Saturday. and she has an 18 month old baby!

I find you get used it to it. Mexico city is particularly bad, though it has its enclaves where noise is reduced. New Year's is a fireworks fest, starting at least a week before and going on several days after.

Buy earplugs
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Joined: 30 Mar 2003
Posts: 3
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

right now as I write I can hear birds, occasional cars passing (no blaring music or noisy mufflers), a guy in the distance yelling GAAAAS (selling stationary gas tank), the garbage truck ringingi its bell so that people can run down to get rid of their trash. Perhaps I am so used to these "noises" that I don't consider them noise anymore but I can honestly say they don't bother me in the least.
THe last time we had a noisy night with neighbors partying was about 3 months ago. Annoying yes, but a common occurence, no. Fireworks occur every now and then, but I have never lost sleep due to them. The stray dogs in the streets where I reside don't have the energy to bark or howl!

I don't live in a high rent district but neither a low one and my building has thick walls not thin ones like the new constructions have. Before you move into a place, I suggest you do a lot of walking around the neiighborhood at different times of the day to get a feeling of it . For sure Mexico, generally speaking, IS much noisier than most American neighborhoods but that's just the way it is and unless you are really sensitive to such things, I don't think it will make your stay here miserable. There are so many wonderful
aspects that after a while you won't even notice the "noise." Enjoy it for what it is and you will be OK here.
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Joined: 09 Apr 2003
Posts: 7
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2003 4:20 pm    Post subject: Gimme noise! Reply with quote

Oh what I wouldn't do for a little noise in the depths of the night! I lived in London for 25 odd years before upping sticks to the country. I couldn't sleep for months for the lack of sirens, cars tooting, clubbers screaming, the mental folk wailing and noisy double deck buses trundling by, with the passengers peering in my windows! And I still can't get used to the fact that my floor boards don't rattle, and the carpet no longer produces waves every 5 minutes from 4.30am to 2 am as the Underground trains pass underneath......
You possibly think Im having a laugh....I assure you I'm not! You get used to the environment around you. When it changes it is disturbing for a while, but soon enough you become accustomed to your new surroundings.
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Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have lived in a California city for 15 years that has become more and more populated by Mexican immigrants and the NOISE is shocking! Fireworks (random) screaming musica barking (dogs and people) engine gunning TV noticias everything all the time! I wondered what it was like where these people came from and now I know. Jeeze.
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Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 422
Location: In the middle

PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2003 5:05 pm    Post subject: Mexico, noisy? Reply with quote

After living in Xela, in Guatemala for 2 months I consider Mexico to be much quieter, at least here in San Cristůbal.

In the street where I lived it was usual to let off fire-crackers at 5 a.m. to announce to everyone in the street that it was someone's birthday or anniversary. It's a great way to wake up. Shocked So far in Mexico it's only happened once at a much more reasonable time of the morning. The family also had a dog that yapped during the night, almost every night, at the street dogs that rest up during the day and prowl around for food during the night. On one occasion the father of the house had to go out and pour some water on the street dogs: they'd been barking for a good half hour. Not what I wanted to do at the time! Evil or Very Mad

Two solutions I found, find some good pillows, feather ones seem to work best. Or buy some earplugs! I tried using rolled up toilet paper once, only good for emergencies!

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