I love our house in Ajijic. It has a great view, a big bed, and a huge bathtub. The stained glass and tile give it plenty of character. It’s in a great location, right near the center of town and a close walk to almost every restaurant in Ajijic. It is pretty much perfect.
There is one drawback. Since the first of October, I have been woken every morning between 5 and 6 am to the ear-splitting sound of bottle rockets. The cannon-like boom is followed by live mariachi-type music that lasts for a minute or two and then the sound of chanting ensues. Not to mention, they’ve woken up the roosters. This repeats for the next hour as the mob makes their way from one block to the next. In short, it is really fricking noisy.
So what’s the story with these disconcerting wake-up calls? A small amount of investigation reveals that it is exactly that: a walk-up call. It is apparently issued to wake people up and get them to church (although they seem to begin worshiping in the street in front of our homes). The entire month of October in Ajijic is devoted to the Virgin of the Rosary. As we live in the less touristy area of Ajijic–north of the carretera (highway) and not in a gated community–we suffer the brunt of it. EVERY MORNING.
In the pitch black I startle awake as the peaceful air explodes around my head and I have to remind myself that I am no longer in Cartagena–nor am I on the coast–so a pirate attack is impossible. I stumble up the winding staircase and lean over the balcony to glimpse the locals pouring from their homes to join the mob gathered in the street. I glare at the mariachi band, so live and awake and full of staccato. And then, as the entire mob moves on, a calling of roosters can be heard in their wake. I am as confused and disoriented as they are but I return to bed and try to go back to sleep. As soon as I have, another cannon-like blast sounds in the night and I am awake again. And it’s 5:45am and pitch black outside. And the roosters are still crowing.