Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Way Things Are: NOISE!!!!!!!!

Puerto Rico is a very noisy place for people not raised here. There is a lot of yelling, a lot of use of microphones, cement houses that echo, roosters, dogs everywhere and vehicles that roam around the hillsides blasting information about stores and events. Trucks roam around the hillsides begging you to run out into the road with your gold, your scrap metal or some money to buy pies or "budin" out of some one's trunk.  People here are OBSESSED with noise. Car noise is a large part of the cacophony of assaulting sounds that threaten to break your eardrums at every turn...or stop light. Noise that assaults you as you try to have that peaceful moment of coffee in your home or that moment of quietness at a stop light. Noise in Puerto Rico is everywhere and everyone is competing to do it best!

I'm not talking about the "music for everybody" sound systems, or the two story speakers mounted on trucks that make it look as if the Dr. Seuss-mobiles could topple at any moment...I'm talking about the fake sirens and train sounds that people use instead of horns (which they also use freely). Not that I personally enjoy all the unnecessary beep-beep-beeping, but does anyone really believe it is a cop coming?  Seriously? This is the land where cops drive around with their lights on 24/7 to properly warn criminals that they are coming. This is a place where you rarely hear a REAL siren and when you do, whether it is an ambulance a cop car you do not pull over, you continue on like it is another Puerto Rican in the next car doing a fake out.  So what about the train sound. Has anyone here (that is alive) ever heard a real train? Do they think people are thinking "wow, I better pull over so the train doesn't run me down"? It's not just the sirens and train noises. Puerto Rican's love noise of any and all kinds. Everyone has to have multiple dogs with skin infections and diseases chained up on the roof or in a doorway dragging the noisy chain around barking all the time from boredom and misery. People just stand and have "conversations" next to the barking dogs yelling at each other to be louder than the dog. Is there a thought to move, move the dog or train it or feed it? Nope, noise here is met by more noise.

We had a neighbor in our house in San German who had a barking boxer and a yippy little dog and a new baby. When they had the kid we thought our sleepless nights would surely be over. Not quite how it turned out. "How does the baby sleep?" we asked as we tried to get them to move the dog to the other side of their house. "Oh, if the dog is barking we let her sleep with the TV on." Yes, the onslaught of noise starts when they are young (just like waiting in lines)!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff, I suggest, recommend, advise, urge you find a good mental health doctor for your wife, before she completly looses it wich seems like she s getting close to it..

Jeff and Katrina Kruse said...

:) Katrina is spot on with her assessment of the noise. There are just too many inconsiderate people here who think they can do whatever they want. Enough said.

arianaauburn12 said...

I am sorry you have to go through this. It is annoying and hopefully you will learn to ignore the noise.

Christmas time is the worst. I moved to the states several years ago and got spoiled rotten by living in a quiet neighborhood. When I visited my folks in PR, I was woken up every 30 mins because of the parrandas. I wanted to call the cops but then I remembered where I was. This explains why I drinks gallons and gallons of coffee every morning that I stayed there.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It kinda sounds like you don't really enjoy living on the island. Puerto Rico is a unique place . I would move somewhere else if you are not able to assimilate to the way of life there.Things definitely dance to a different tune there.

Anonymous said...

Yah, I agree we need to move away. I just can’t assimilate to all the animal torture, garbage, and disrespect. How many starving dogs and garbage piles should one see every day. Just two nights ago at 6pm on a main road I saw a guy unload his matrices and dump his garbage on the side of the road.

It’s all my problem because I can’t assimilate, your right.

Jeff

Britton said...

It really depends on where you're at. Our place is rarely if ever driven past and we and our neighbors have fairly large properties so we all enjoy a fair amount of quiet and space.

Loved the sunset pictures!

Anonymous said...

I'm a reader of your blog and for one, hope Katrina never changes. Even if you disagree with her, she at least speaks her mind, even if it is not always politically correct. She tells it like it is, and does speak for a large portion of people who've had experiences living in PR. I'm thankfully back on the mainland now, but still enjoy reading your blog.

Anonymous said...

I see that a lot of people have gotten angry at you but I'm also an American living on the island and I have had many of the same experiences as you. I don't think you are being unfair in your assessments of the way things work here. I just think if you've grown up in a place and lived there your whole life you can be more accepting of the negative aspects of the place than those people who are used to a different way of life.

I really appreciate your blog because it makes me feel less alone knowing someone out there "GETS" the things I deal with on a daily basis here in PR. I hope you don't let the negative comments get to you!

Anonymous said...

I think that Katrina dislikes/hates almost everything that has to do with puerto ricans and how we run things but likes Puerto Rico (the beaches, caves, sunsets, trees, etc). Is like if she wished people in PR were not puerto ricans.

Being puerto rican myself, I don't find this offensive. I find this sad. I agree with her. Most people here don't give a sh*t about anyone else than themselves: garbage everywere, loud reggaeton (enough to make u deaf) everywhere, people driving sooooo slow even on the passing lane, people not being polite, not caring about the environment, people killing each other because of spilled drinks or a bad look, people dressing very bad to go shopping... Hell, about 60% of the people that can work DONT work and get food stamps, free computers, free cell phone, free internet, etc.

Puerto Rico is an awesome and beautiful place... in fact I wouldn't trade this piece of land for the US, but it makes me sad that I have to share this Island with the savages I described above. I wish different people lived here too. Most of the people that I know that are well educated (BS & MS engineers, lawyers, MD students, PhD students) agree with me on this and have left o are planning to leave PR looking for a safer and more pleasant live.

All in all, don't get mad at Katrina for saying the ugly but sad true about how PR is. She is being fair and dead honest.

PS - Katrina, food in PR is awesome. Has 10 times more taste than american.

Anonymous said...

I am Puerto Rican myself born in New Jersey, and I have been living here for 3 years in Sabana Grande near San German and you are spot on...the noise is unbearable and impossible to ignore, the people love noise! And it feels like the more you hate it, the loudet they get on purpose! Announcement trucks, weed wackers, hammering, dogs barking, roosters, loud cars, people cutting in front of you in traffic, not letting you pass, waiting rooms for doctors can take up to 6 hours or more. They don't give a crap about anyone. They claim police their jobs..ha yoi barely see one and when you do they are giving someone a ticket on a highway. The killings are ridiculous, everyone drives around with police sirens. Something that would be illegal in the United States....Yeah I'm going back to Jersey. To love it here, you need to be born here....