Here in Mexico you can breathe the spirit of party in every corner. When expats come to Mexico many have in mind to have fun and party as much as they can. Going to bars and dancing clubs and spending one hell of a night is high on their list of things to do.
But what happens when the party is not in bars and dancing clubs but is above you or next to you. Yes, Mexicans take the party with them everywhere they go, which is in our nature.
Imagine a week night: You are ready to read and go to bed early, but next door your neighbor is celebrating his/her birthday. People are arriving, bringing beer, bottles of wine, rum, tequila, snacks and lots of CDs with their favorite music. Your place is so quiet that even the dog is calm. But suddenly you begin to hear voices chatting and laughing. More people show up, and you think: We are in the middle of the week, what is going on? Then the music starts. At the beginning the volume is OK, but let me tell you, this means only one thing: as the spirit of the party seizes them the music begins to get louder and louder.
The clock says 10 p.m. and you are already in bed. Now you can clearly hear voices rising above the music. This creates a snowball effect as partygoers speak louder in order to follow the conversation. But they also want to hear the music, so they turn up the volume a little bit more. And so it goes.
The party does not have to be big to create a lot of noise. The point is that they are too busy celebrating, dancing and talking about their jobs, families, sports and everyday life to notice. What they forget as they party is that they often have expat neighbors who have a completely different culture.
Expats react to and deal with noisy neighbors differently than Mexicans do. As Mexicans, we have been living with noise all of our lives. It is part of our culture. The idea is to have a mutual respect and be as friendly as possible, regardless of our differences.
In the expat community in Puerto Vallarta, we have to take the best of both cultures and create our own. We can set rules when and how we can celebrate a birthday or any festivity. There are condo developments with strict rules that eliminate this issue, and there are neighborhoods that have common sense rules about noise.
If you have a good and open relationship with your neighbors, you can talk about this cultural issue at any time, even when the party is going on, to work things out. Mutual respect brings the two cultures together