THERE ARE countless beauties and advantages to living below the border. And there are a few drawbacks.
High on the list of drawbacks is the nation’s love of noise. This usually comes in two forms:
- A neighbor sets up a sound stage in his back yard. It’s got speakers about 20 feet high. This is not an exaggeration. A live band is hired, and they holler till 2 a.m. on a Wednesday night. It can be heard a mile away, literally.
- Fireworks, eternal fireworks. There is little that Mexico loves more than a good blast, preferably and repeatedly at 5 a.m. and preferably on Sunday, your day of rest.
I attribute this fascination with endless racket to a broad current of childishness in the culture.
The good news is that after a few years you get used to it. When the sounds of Verdun start on our neighborhood plaza before the crack of dawn, I rarely even wake up anymore. If I do awaken, I swiftly go back to sleep.
On concert nights, we both sleep with silicone earplugs.
The video above is a fireworks market in Tultepec, State of Mexico. It’s the largest, retail fireworks market in Mexico. Or was. Someone was careless with a match yesterday. Sixteen people died, and over 70 were injured.
Will we learn a lesson from this? We will not.