Monday, April 18, 2011

End of Week 38 - Mexico Is Loud

Today, my image of Enrique Iglesias as a baby-faced, innocent, youthful pop-singer who grows younger with age was forever shattered in the frozen foods aisle at the Chedraui supermarket near the central bus station in Puebla. Every month that passes by in Mexico Enrique has a new number one song. Most are in Spanish. His new one, however, is in English. I suppose back home you may have heard this one, called "Tonight I'm loving you." Well, the truth is that the song is not as sweet as it sounds. Apparently, Enrique really wants you to know that tonight he's f*****g you, in as many words.

I learned this because at Chedraui, like all supermarkets here, they blast music within the store to advertise different sales, often using two or three separate stereos and songs for competing products in the same aisle. And they don’t censor songs in English, since noone here speaks English anyways. I’m not sure how this is supposed to make me want to buy Lalla's new chicharron flavored ice cream, however. (That flavor may or may not actually exist.)

Even the Walmarts here have the same sort of marketing scheme; loud + noise = sales. I just can't picture this sort of client abuse happening at one Danny Wegmans' fine establishments back in wholesome Western New York.

After leaving the supermarket we headed to the nearest bus stop. The huge outdoor market surrounding this Chedraui is even more eardrum breakingly crazy. For three blocks, every stall sells stereo equipment, home entertainment systems, pirated CDs and DVDs, and very, very, very graphic pornography. Since they all basically have the same stuff, they compete with each other through noise. Apparently, the stall with the loudest explosions, deepest base, highest-pitched screams, and most obnoxious disco lights wins.  At night, the frenzy of lasers, flashes of color and noises is mesmerizing and terrifying. I am usually suprised to find random flyers for strip clubs in my pockets the next day.

After running for our lives to cross the eight-lane road to get to our bus stop, we flagged down a yellow number 10 and ran to the back of the bus to escape. Upon take off - buses here are more like rockets than metros - the speakers and subwoofers began pumping Mexican polka music, called banda, and we started getting jolted out of our seats with every minor bump in the road. The bus, like many others we have ridden in, was lacking an adequate shock absorption system, or, like Ana suggested, had square-shaped tires made from concrete blocks. Suddenly, one of our shopping bags ripped open and I ran down the aisle chasing an onion as it bounced between the rows of seats and confused passengers I thought to myself, can't anyone save me from this? That's when I noticed that Jesus was on the bus with us too, sharing in my suffering.
Jesus suffering.

This sort of torture is common here, and not to get too graphic, but after eating the normal dinner assortment of Mexican tacos, beans, chilies, and hot sauces, that roller coaster of a ride home from the bus station routinely leaves me crying and begging for mercy, or, a least, a bathroom.

I can relate to this culture though. When I was a kid, my favorite color was "neon." My shirts, pants, socks, and shoes were all electric blue, lime green, or hot orange. I had spiked hair, a rat tail, and wore Buffalo Bills style zoobas. It's safe to say that Mexico's style - like my childhood look - is just plain loud.

Buffalo Bills Zoobas.


  1. Jajean was it only one onion? Surely Jesus was with both of you when you crossed the 8-lane road to get to the bus stop!Zooba pants? never heard of that fashion!Maybe I lived...I lived in another part of the world where that fashion did not exist...makes me think more of Africa?!it's in PR.

  2. didnt know you brought your zubas with you to mexico!
    shall i post a photo?

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