How on earth did I ever think that owning a house in Mexico would guarantee me a quiet spot to write? The place is party-central for various times of the year and it has taken me a few years to learn the technique of blocking out the music, fireworks and gleeful 'gritos' or unmotivated shrieks. It is certainly not dull. Beyond the farm behind our little house, there is a 'sports bar'. OK. It began as a terrace outside a house, frequented by late night taxi drivers and regular customers. The owner bought a juke box with money he made from selling part of his farm to the local resorts. Uh-oh. Loud. I quickly learnt the Spanish - Tus sinfonola is tan fuerte! (probably ungrammatical but he understood). We came to love the band rehearsal days when the owner kindly lends his establishment (which, I must say, has now grown into an enormous terrace with pretty lighting and gradual improvement of the carpark and garden) as the shouts of glee and falsetto singing would carry on till midnight. I got over my initial clenching of teeth at the sounds of a tuba. Well, sort of.
Now, the sports bar has shouting mostly when Chicharito scores a goal in soccer or on Fiesta days. Mmmm, that seems to happen a lot.
But quiet? Ahhhh, so quiet during the days I am only interrupted by the amazing birdlife in these parts (Puerto Vallarta). We have seen the place change from a dirty, litter-strewn and mostly unpaved pueblo to one where the locals (and visitors from Chiapas) take some pride in the fact that there is a recycling bin on all key corners and the streets are being filled with bouganvilleas.
PS> There is no danger here. Mexican violence is restricted to areas contested by the drug cartels and the only way it will end is for the USA to stop shipping them guns and to stop buying their products. That should be easy, no?