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Waking up in Zihuatanejo

Larry Abrams

Many of us come to Mexico for the warm weather and the warm water…and some of us also come to Mexico to experience the “real Mexico”…one of the ways to do that is to keep the windows open, especially in the mornings.

We live up the hill on the La Ropa Road and this is what we hear as our day starts…

Probably the first sound we hear, (and usually the last sound of the day) are the roosters crowing. They start before the sun is up and of course, keep it up all through the day. After we’ve been here a couple of weeks though, we find that we seldom hear them any more; the crowing just fades into the background. What really wakes me though, is the grinding of the garbage truck, and we hear it 7 days a week. Maybe that is why Zihuat is such a clean town. Does anyone know where all this stuff comes from? 7 days a week…do you think they recycle the same garbage at night so I won’t need an alarm clock? Some days between 7 and 8 I’ll hear the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, with their monotonous hooting, “took.. took.. took.. took”, three times a second. Now we begin to hear various other birds waking up. Usually once a week between 6:30 and 7, I’ll hear the iron chain rattling when the cruise ship drops it’s anchor in the harbor. The most magnificent sound of course, is the big surf as it crashes on shore. And finally, we get the noise of the trucks and taxis to let us know the day has really started. Friends of ours rent a house close by Kyoto Circle and they hear different sounds in the morning. A man ringing a bell to alert everyone to put their garbage out to be picked up precedes their garbage truck. Some people tie their garbage bag high in a tree the night before so they won’t miss the truck. If you leave it out at night on the curb, the cats and dogs will get to it. One of the earliest sounds, at the crack of dawn, is the lady who sells fish and in a very loud strident voice that you can hear 2 blocks away, yells pescados. Then the gasmen come around yelling gaz, gaz, and they also blow their truck horn to get your attention. The fruit lady, crying fruitas, has a cart of fresh pre-cut fruit for your selection and the price is very barrato. The last of the daily venders are the watermen. They say their brand name as they yell, Agua, Agua Aquin. Other occasional street venders come by selling flowers, bread, and knife sharpening each having their own cries to get your attention.

Next time, if you have the chance, turn off the air-conditioner and open up those windows to hear the sounds are of a real Mexican morning.

March 2001

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