These crazy Mexicans!
We watched an unprecedented third episode of The Wire last night and, consequently didn’t get to bed until after midnight. Not much after but a little bit. During the evening we had been “entertained” occasionally by fairly short blasts of something vaguely resembling music coming from the big hotel across the main road from us. It was quite loud but it usually only went for 10 minutes or so before shutting down for as much as 20 minutes at a time, occasionally a wee bit longer. Little did we know that this was just the tuning-up phase of the evening’s entertainment.
Just before midnight, the music started in ernest, and it was LOUD! It was also pretty crappy. Lots of thump-thumpa and not a whole lot else. Sleep did eventually overtake us but it wasn’t easy. Throughout the next few hours we were treated to music that was louder by a long ways than anything we’d heard in La Paz. It was interspersed with what were, I guess, toasts and short speeches that were shouted into the microphone. Come to think of it, I suspect this was something that was coming in from a feed elsewhere as the crowd’s applause was much louder than it had been during the music.
Long about 4:00 AM the speechifying stopped and we heard some strums on an electric guitar and a few beats on a drum. And then we got to listen to a really quite bad rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven”. But, not to worry. They made up in volume what they lacked in talent. Roll Over Beethoven: we’re all so familiar with that song that anything that’s off-kilter really grates. In this case, you’d be sitting there waiting for the 7th chord at the turnaround, and the guitarist would play a natural instead. Huh? Sounded so wrong. He’d get started on a guitar solo and just fall way short, seemingly ignoring the more difficult parts. And all the songs he played that I recognized were that way: Miserlou, Johnny B. Goode, Pipeline. It wasn’t until he switched to some music that I was completely unfamiliar with that I was able to relax, musically at least. However, they brought a girl vocalist in at one point and I would swear that the song she was singing and the song the band was playing were completely different songs. They weren’t even played at the same tempo. The band was hurtling along at 60 mph while the vocalist was singing at about 45. Very disconcerting. And the fact that this was going on between 4:00 and 5:00 AM didn’t help things one bit. You cannot believe how loud it was on our boat with all hatches closed. I swear there had to be some permanent hearing damage done to the partygoers last night.
Finally, a little after 5:00, the band mercifully quit. I had just drifted off to sleep when my stupid cell phone started ringing. At five freakin’ twenty in the morning. I answered it only to hear Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” blasting out of the earpiece. Then a voice said “Hola” and I said “You must have the wrong number.” The voice said “Esteban?” and I said, “Yes, this is Esteban, who is this?” Then I think I heard the voice say “Steve?” just before he must have put the phone up to the speakers for my listening enjoyment. I hung up and turned the phone off. I checked it this morning and it’s a Mexican 395 area code. The area code in La Paz is 612 and, as far as I know, the area code in Mazatlán is 669, so I’m not sure who was calling. Guess I could call the number back today to find out but I probably won’t.
Anyway, after the phone call, things were blissfully quiet the rest of the morning. So much so that I actually slept in until 8:00 instead of my usual 6:30.
We started the New Year right, though. I cooked us up a batch of spuds and eggs for breakfast. An excellent way to start the day, and the year.
HAPPY 2012 TO YOU ALL. And thanks for being such faithful readers.