Watch this video:
Yeah, that’s basically how I feel here in Peru every single day – WOMP. I’m a person who hates noise and loves silence so if there is one thing I probably won’t miss about my town, its the noise. I mentioned before that on my 24 Hours Bus Ride post that noise and cultural norms around noise are completely different. I never really realized how much Americans valued silence or quiet time before I came to Peru and its definitely something I will never take for granted again. I mean, the fact that we even have noise ordinances and we can call the police if a neighbor is being too loud at the wrong time of day/night, I think would be a mind blowing concept here (and also, culturally, never work).
By general American standards, Peruvians are just loud. It’s something that I have, in the saltiest of ways, accepted as apart of my life now. I’m sure all of this “noise” I speak of and often complain about to my friends and family back home is pretty ambiguous so I wanted to make what I’m dealing with a little more clear and I decided to track all the obnoxious noise I can hear from my apartment in just one day (and hopefully make light of one of my not so favorite things). Here we go:
5:00 AM – The rooster and the turkeys go all day long but I start to hear them around five in the morning. I think the roosters get the rep as the most obnoxious wake up call but, in my opinion, that should really go to the turkey – so loud, so obnoxious. I HATE the turkeys.
6:00 AM – Soy milk is a big thing ’round these parts and an early morning wouldn’t be complete if the soy milk man didn’t ride up and down the streets on his moto taxi with loud speakers blaring, “SOY MILK GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH! VITAMIN A, VITAMIN B, AND VITAMIN D,” repeatedly. And if that wasn’t loud enough at the end of it he whistles a dumb tune into the speaker after he says his little spiel.
6:30 AM – Just around 30 minutes later, the soy milk man passes again saying the same thing. At this point I’m pretty much awake but still trying to pretend that this can’t be my life.
7:00 AM – Ah, the joys of trash collection in the States – so simple, so quiet and discreet. Trash collection here happens basically everyday and instead of relying on people knowing it comes every single day, I’m assuming the town leaders got together and said to themselves, “Selves, how do we make garbage collection in this here town as annoying and disruptive as possible?” This resulted in a garbage truck with a loud speaker and an ambulance siren. The loud speaker has a recording that says, “NEIGHBORS BRING YOUR GARBAGE. WE COME BY FROM 6AM – 3PM MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. BRING YOUR GARBAGE. WE ARE WATCHING OUT FOR THE HEALTH OF YOUR FAMILY.” Then it cuts to a recording of a kid talking to their parent about how garbage disposal in the correct manner is so important and at the end the kid goes, “WOW, DADDY! A CLEAN CITY IS REALLY IMPORTANT! *Cue Ambulance Siren*
7:30 AM -I get up out of bed because at this point, there’s no use in acting like this
can’t be life. So I get up to start my morning rituals and from the bathroom window, I can hear those turkeys going full blast.
7:45 AM – I go to my kitchen to make my breakfast and I can hear the TV or radio going pretty loudly from the señora downstairs. But I will say that even though its loud, its no where near the volume my ex-host fam would use. They were out of this world with it.
9:21 AM – 11:00 AM – Around 9ish everyday, this mysterious Peruvian pan flute music comes on. Wherever its coming from is far but its always there in the background as if to remind you that you’ll probably never have a moment of complete silence until you get back to the States.
12:15 PM – Around lunchtime, like the soy milk man, the Chicha de Jora (another delicious Peruvian drink) man comes around on his moto taxi with his loud speaker, “DELICIOUS CHICHA DE JORA!” Then he let’s out an “AAAAAAHHHHHHH,” as if he’s just taken a refreshing swig of water from God’s personal water fountain to let us all know how delicious his chicha is.
12:28 PM – 1:59 PM – The neighbor across the street doing house work blasts the same two Jose Jose songs: Lagrimas & Voy a Llenarte Toda. Not bad songs but I certainly don’t want to hear them on repeat for an hour and a half.
2:16 PM – Mysterious pan flute music can be heard again
2:33 PM – Garbage truck passes for the second time with the same annoying loud speakers and siren
3:12 PM – Goats and their herder show up in the empty lot across from my house. The goats stop to eat the grass in the trash filled lots while making their silly goat noises for about 20 minutes before they go back to wherever they came from.
5:00 PM – I kid you not, a marching band passes by. Trumpets, drums, clarinets. A legit marching band. I’m in disbelief.
6:21 PM – The guy selling picarones (a popular Peruvian sweet) comes by with his moto taxi and loud speaker screaming, “FOR ONE SOL, DELICIOUS PICARONES. ONE PORTION FOR ONE SOL.”
7:30 PM – The tamale woman comes around not with a moto taxi or loud speakers, but by foot, simply screaming at the top of her lungs, “TA – MA – LES” over and over and over and over again.
8:10 PM – Street dogs fighting in the street
8:11 PM – Some event has started in the plaza and I can hear every word the MC is saying
11:11 PM – It’s a 11:11, make a wish! My wish is that the event in the plaza ends but it doesn’t come true. I sign off on another day in Peru and go to sleep with my ear plugs of course.
11:25 PM – Just as I’m falling asleep, and just as unbelievable as the marching band, I hear a round of fireworks. And there is no super special occasion or holiday that I’m aware of, its just another noise day in Peru.