This is what Lent looks like in San Miguel


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Mexico is not a quiet place.  I am writing this with a pair of orange ear plugs stuck into my ears.  Yes, it does somewhat deaden the noise of barking dogs, cars bumping up a cobble stone road, motorcycles roaring up the streets, the roasted corn seller bawling out his eerie cry at exactly seven o’clock every evening, gas trucks rolling up and down blasting canned music and encouragement to fill up one’s canister.  The  garbage truck comes to our neighborhood every Monday morning at 6:45 and rings what sounds like a schol bell.  I am required to be up and dressed and to fumble with the three separate locks that protect me from the dastardly villains who are said to abound ( although I have never seen one) before running up the street to hand my refuse up to the mysterious hand down in the inside of the truck.  The church bell tolls the half hour all night and day.  Minah birds shriek in the pomegranate trees.  At exactly four am every night, a bird whose name I do not know serenades me with the sweetest and most uusual song.  I have named that bird myself with a special name.  On weekends happy couples dance until dawn with the doors of the church hall open to the neighborhood.  They are accompanied by Mariachi bands of varying talent but unfailing stamina and volume.  The evening, having mutated into the early morning, wraps up  with a rousing volley of firecrackers.

Mexico is not a quiet place.  I still prefer its sounds to the rumble of snow-ploughs or the sick moan of my car battery on a bright morning when the wind chill  factor is minus 25.

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