In Oaxaca the dogs bark. They bark at all hours of the day and night. A couple of years ago, my neighbor of the time asked me about the terriers; three live on the property:
"I like dogs, but they're barking for no reason," he said.
I laughed, "They think they have a reason, or they wouldn't be barking."
A rooster lives next door, if you think roosters crow at the crack of dawn you're correct, but they also crow in the middle of the night, and throughout the day.
|Mother Ruth and her terriers|
There's a man who gets up very early in the morning and pedals his specially built bike with a very large pot in the front, in which he has tamales to sell. It sounds as if he's singing "Strum-bo-lee" as he pedals down the street every morning around 8 a.m. and back again about 9:15 p.m.
On any given day, a truck or two with a loud speaker rolls down the street. One sells various seafood; over and over I hear a man shouting "Mariscos, langosta, camaron, pulpo" (translation: seafood, lobster, shrimp, octopus) There’s the truck that, as it slowly inches its way, broadcasts the business of buying antiques, gold and silver. Sometimes a new restaurant opens, and a truck drives around the neighborhood loudly letting us know its location, its offerings and its hours of operation.
Then there's the gas truck that makes a sound akin to a deformed, honking goose. After the honk comes the announcement the ”Gas de Oaxaca," followed by a hokey tune familiar to everyone who lives here, and impossible for me to describe.
There's the guy with his jugs of water, "Aqua, aqua," he sings.
When I hear the sound of chains dragging under a vehicle, I know it's the garbage truck, and my neighbors, along with our housekeeper Ana, will be lining up to dump refuge.
I've been here long enough that a great deal of the time I no longer hear these sounds, but when I take the time to listen; they are familiar rather than strange sounds of my life.