A local news clip here in British Columbia reminded me of the daily sounds one gets used to while living in Mexico. One Okanagan community has just banned the ice cream truck from playing it’s jingle over the loud speaker due to noise bylaws. These same local politicians and residents might have a real hurdle to cross to get used to living in Mexico.

Lets start with the La Peñita ice cream truck. The instrumental jingle is quite different from the rest of the vendors. The tune really brings a carnival sound to day-to-day life, despite whether or not the parents appreciate their kids getting the ice cream fix. The local bread truck has a song performed, at an auctioneer’s pace, of the virtues of nutrition of their white-bread and sugar-laced products. Trucks selling water usually vary between sirens and just blowing the horn. The scrap metal trucks have a tape recording listing the products they are interested in buying: bronze, copper, aluminum, fridges, stoves, old bicycles, etc. It’s great to have someone drop by to pick up your empty soft drink and beer cans. On a similar marketing plan, the local fruit and vegetable vendors list their wares over the loud speaker as they pass by. The three local buta-gas distributors all have their distinct jingles which include their company names. GAAAAAZZZZ! They quite often cruise the streets following each other to ensure their market-share of this competitive industry. When the circus comes to town, get ready for a few days of siren-equipped vehicles, towing cages with tigers, lions or other animals on a slow cruise of residential streets. Those from up-north tend to cringe at the sight of animals being paraded on a hot day, with no way to get away from the bumpy streets or the noise of traffic and sirens. One really has to wonder what the local transito police think of these sirens on the streets competing with their own vehicles. After all, this siren means please patronize my business, rather than please pull over or get out of my way.

A fiesta coming to town usually means someone with a burnt-out speaker roped to the roof or hood of their car has a few days work of driving around town with a tape recording playing with an excited announcer stating this fiesta is one you can’t miss. On a simpler note, the guys with motorcycles covering the streets with thumb firmly pressed on the horn is letting you know this morning’s tortillas are here. During Semana Santa, trucks were cruising the streets advertising mattresses, bed frames, pillows and sheets for those needing a few more beds to accommodate visitors.

As inefficient as this circuit of vehicles sounds, the consumer really doesn’t need to leave home for daily needs. With increasing fuel costs and time becoming more valuable, one really has to wonder how long this noisy daily parade will continue.

About the Author: Rob Erickson, his wife Heather and their rescue cat Mayo, spend half the year living on Vancouver Island, BC. and the other half in the Jaltemba Bay area of Mexico, where they enjoy the warm weather and slower pace of life. Now that Rob has finished building their new house in La Peñita, he can be found mountain biking around the area, volunteering at the JBAR spay and neuter clinics and relaxing in his Mexican-style hammock.

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