Tuesday, February 2, 2010

File under: Things NOT to miss about Huajuapan

If I had a large-scale construction project to undertake, something that involved the tearing down of concrete walls and the backhoeing and bulldozing of the subsequent rubble, the time I’d pick to start the project everyday would obviously be 11pm.

I’d feel the need to put in an honest days’ work, so quitting time would be scheduled for eight hours later, promptly at 7am.

I’d be working through the night, so I’d obviously need to find a really, really bright light to illuminate my workspace, one that could easily be positioned to also shine directly into the (hermetically sealed) bedroom window of my neighbor across the street, ensuring that she could see the undersides of her eyelids as she fruitlessly would try to sleep, tossing and turning and punching her pillow as she would work through her repertoire of bilingual curse words, doing all she could to keep herself from running into the road in her pajamas, her bloodshot eyes ablaze with rage as she’d yell obscenities at me and my crew like the potentially-violent, half-crazed gringa that three days of sleep deprivation would turn her into.

But I wouldn't worry about her. Instead, I’d feel fortunate that I could undertake this project in the great city of Huajuapan de León, a commuity of 80,000 people that somehow manages to be 100 decibels louder than Chicago, a city of 8 million, a place where the everybody is used to noise at all hours, so nobody would even think to complain, except that grouchy gringa across the street. I’m glad that the municipal government would understand that my concrete wall would be more important than my neighbood's sleep. They’d even give me a permit so that I could park a truck right outside the construction site. I'd have to have some way of hauling away all that rubble. It’s OK that it would be blocking the entire road. Nobody in their right mind would be up at that hour anyway, you know?

I’d leave that big truck idling in the street the entire time, just because. The low, loud purr of that powerful engine could provide something of a backdrop to the scrape-lift-crash syncopation of the bulldozer’s scooping and spilling of rubble. It’d be a nice rhythm to work by, don’t you think?

I’d count my blessings that the project doesn’t fall during the months of December or July, or else my big, idling truck might get in the way of the processions of loud speakers, mariachi bands, fireworks and devout Catholics that parade down that same street at 4:30am. Gosh, we’d sure have a problem if that were the case.

Luckily, in February, the only other living beings up all night would be the street dogs who would bark at my bulldozer and that cranky, pajama-clad gringa across the street. Why wouldn't she just go to bed?

Yup, 11 pm it is. Sounds like a great plan.

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