The Boys

July 12, 2009

One street over from us is an apartment building.  For about a year a group of young men has been living in one of the second floor apartments, and I admit that they have provided us with a fair bit of entertainment.

We guess that they came here for work, leaving their families at home.  We never see them with women or children, and they do seem to create most of their own entertainment.

Their favorite pastime is hanging around by or on the balcony without shirts, talking and playing music.  Day or night, sometimes singing along, sometimes not. We say to each other “the boys are having fun today” or “how long have the boys been singing today?” frequently.  They play mostly Mexican standards and they just love to sing along.  No need to hook up the iPod for music on our back patio, no sir.

So the boys were at it again last night.  About 10 pm the music started getting louder and the laughing and singing, too.  We watched a movie and went to bed around midnight.  They were still laughing and singing, and the music was loud.

In the middle of the night it started raining (YAY, cooled us off) and I got up to do  window patrol.  While shutting the bathroom window I was mesmerized by the sight of a group of young men singing and laughing on the balcony in the rain.

We got up at 6 am to get Paul off to the bus to Guadalajara where he’s taking two weeks of intensive Spanish classes while living with a Mexican family.  The boys were still going strong.

It’s now 8:30 am, and all is quiet.  I bet they worked the normal half day yesterday, then partied until 8 in the morning.  I should be relieved, but you know what?  It’s too quiet.

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Isn’t it fun when we can accept the culture around us and find the positive in what could be an extreme irritant to some? I relish the ability of our neighbors to have fun, laugh, make noise and music and truly enjoy life’s pleasures. (even when it IS at the expense of others’ sleep) I like the raucous sounds of children in the street late at night, making up their own games and never a fear of “danger” but total freedom of movement. Mexico……how glorious!

    1. I too love the sounds of the music and laughter. I frequently go to sleep to the music of the “sing-along” when the neighbors have the karaoke machine going, or the “boys” are sitting out on the sidewalk with their boombox. (Of course, I’m one of those who used to park my tent at the foot of the stage at rock concerts and sleep like a baby.)

      I had enough peace and quiet at our country home back in the states, and told my husband I wanted to move right in the middle of everything–and we did! I fight him when he wants to have the air conditioning on at night, because I can’t hear the street sounds.

      I enjoy reading your blog!

    1. OK. Confession time. While working on the computer in the late hours, I often turn on my favorite music. Whenever I choose pop music (with lyrics I can recall in my dotage), I sing along. I sing along loud. I now know it is loud because the wife of the Mexican family who lives five houses down asked me if it was me singing at 1 AM. I must have looked sheepish because she said: “Keep it up. You’re not very good, but we like your style.” We had a good laugh out of it. I have not checked in with the four houses in between. You asked the other day why I came to Mexico.

      To entertain? Will that do for another answer?

    1. Where we live the music is a live band at a bar down the street called Tequila’s. They do old American 70s pop the first two sets. I wouldn’t mind if it had any variation, but they always do the same program. I could go down there and sing it with them, I know it so well by now. It doesn’t even start until around 10pm. In winter I can actually hear the lyrics they’re singing, it’s so loud, but in summer we turn on the AC and can’t hear a thing. One good thing about antiquated window air conditioners.

    1. Zoe, I’m with you. I absolutely love just listening. Some evenings I’ll sit on the upstairs patio in the dark and along with the voices here and there there is a muted trumpet being played. Really lovely.

      Viki, We came from the country too and I can remember thinking how thoughtless it was of our neighbor (a looong ways away) to play his music so we could hear it! Now sometimes I can even feel it! I feel the same about the air conditioning, not so much for street sounds but because I want to know if it’s raining. Sometimes I don’t sleep much because I listen so much!

      Steve, Sounds like you are fitting right in! The other day I was singing along to my iPod while ironing and Guadalupe said I was “muy contenta.” You sound like you might be feeling the same.

      Bliss, I was trying to express how much I love their exuberant singing and frugal celebrations. It really makes the neighborhood feel happy. Although I’m sure their next door neighbors might disagree, I love it. When a holiday comes and they all clear out I really miss them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I raised two boys, I’m not sure!

    1. I’ve often said music is one of my favourite things about Mexico! Thank goodness I married a man who can play the guitar and sing the night away! He and his friends often sing til the wee hours of the morning… It’s beautiful! Now if only I could carry a tune….
      Oh and yay for Paul!

    1. I think it’s the spontaneity that makes it so much fun to hear singing in the neighborhood. On a construction project a half-block away from us one of the carpenters would burst into song on a regular basis. I’d hear him while I was cooking and washing dishes, and I eventually started listening for him. It was my one regret about that house getting finished, that he moved on to another job. I never saw him, but I loved listening to him.

    1. Adam, Yes I still iron when I need something right away…or if I feel like it!

      Lauren, You don’t need to carry a tune! But how nice you married a guitar player/singer.

      1st Mate, You’re right, the spontaneity is the thing. Your construction worker serenades sound wonderful.

    1. I live in an unusually quiet neighborhood. My neighbor to the South hosts Sunday afternoon drink-a-longs on his front stoop. No singing, but much chatter and somebody over there is always laughing. I think it took awhile for them to accept a Gringo in their midst. But now, when they see me out front, it’s all high fives in the air and lots of waving and smiling. Nice.

      As for Paul, I admire so much what he is doing. I admire both of you really.

      And this new secret! You’re killing us Madam!

    1. I’m missing the sounds of Mexico so reading about “the boys” made me homesick but at the same time feel good about my SMA home.

    1. I love the music too. The people are really happy and joyous. It’s cool. I do have to admit that there were a couple of times in Sayulita when it went on too long and I couldn’t sleep. I was mad but I forgave them. That’s life.

    1. IslaGringo, It really is nice to feel like you really are a part of the fabric of the neighborhood, isn’t it? Paul is doing really well, likes the school and the place he’s staying. I told him he has to do a guest blog about the experience. I’m thinking about the “secret”, I might have to do a mini reveal this week. Thank you for your admiration, I know we aren’t worthy, but what do I know.

      Billie, Yes, The Boys really are in every community, it’s a happy sound, full of enthusiasm and life. You be back in SMA soon!

      Jan, I think one reason I don’t get worked up about it is that I don’t have to work anymore. I used to hate going to work exhausted because of lack of sleep. Now, if it happens I just take a nap!

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