You are in the south of Mexico City at this location here known as Santo Domingo.
With a small bottle of tea in hand and about 20 people walking around you down the stairs, you begin to hear some odd noise.
“Is …. Is that someone yelling?” you wonder.
Near the bottom of the steps now, the yelling gets more intense.
There’s a 5’2 brown woman in plain clothing standing by a little store that has candies, chips, drinks, etc.
A second ago, she was sitting on the phone blocking a random fat Julio on Whatsapp for sending a 4 inch dick pic and texting her mom also to ask if she can have a few hundred pesos to help pay rent.
With a wage of only 4,500 pesos (or 225 USD) per month working at this store, she isn’t getting very far ahead.
But after she is done messing around with the phone, she stands up, walks to the front of her mini store and sees our crowd of around 20 people descending.
With the power of the Aztec gods, she summons the greatest strength to shout to the Heavens a message she wants all of us to hear.
She’s putting her best foot forward to try to sell those 5 cent pieces of gum.
“We all got to pay rent somehow.”
But, unfortunately for her, she isn’t the only one yelling.
Right behind her are a bunch of combis (little vans) parked with a couple of fat men yelling out.
Without the benefits of testosterone, her … uhhh … lung muscles just aren’t as good.
Her “CHICLES” message gets drowned out by two men yelling out to let everyone know the places their combis will take them.
Even though the combis already have signs announcing where they’ll go for anyone who would want a ride.
So not only do you wonder if their efforts are truly necessary, you also wonder if they are redundant?
For both men work for the same company assumingly as the combis look the same and they both announce that they’re going to the same areas.
Don’t you just need one to announce that? Was the sign not good enough?
And you keep walking with the crowd around you.
Soon you come across a young, skinny guy who couldn’t be older than 20 with some bags of nuts in hand.
But clearly he doesn’t need our money, does he?
For, in comparison to the other vendors, he just doesn’t put in the WORK to get our attention.
With bags in hand, he only mumbles out a very weak “nueces, nueces…”
A very sad mumble indeed.
Is this the low self-esteem vendor?
For his confidence in what he sells isn’t shining very brightly.
In contrast, you walk past him (as everyone does for who wants to buy from a limp dick vendor that can’t yell properly like the others?).
And, as you pass him, you see a handful of taxi drivers with their taxis parked right there in front of you.
No big mystery as to what they are or what service they offer.
These are taxis!
Right in front of our faces.
But yet, for some reason, the drivers feel the need to yell out stronger than ANYONE else “TAXI!!! TAXI!!! TAXI!!!”
In fact, it almost feels like the taxi drivers are in competition with each other to shout louder than the other guy next to him.
“TAXI!!! TAXI!!! I SHOUT LOUDER THAN HIM!!! CHOOSE ME INSTEAD!! TAXI!!”
Of course, that’s probably not how it works as most taxi spots have a line where the taxi man in the first spot gets the client before the others.
Still, it does almost feel like a little competition.
And, as you pass the taxi drivers, they lower their voices and look at you with their arms open saying to you “taxi, amigo?”
Finally, above all of the other vendors, you have THE BIG BOSS.
Like in any video game, there’s always a FINAL BOSS that waits for you in the end.
Here comes the ultimate vendor ready to sell you his product.
Crossing the street, a young man with a box full of sushi waits you and the crowd walking behind you.
He sees you all approaching him.
And this is his time to make a sell.
If he can just sell 4 more of these, he can afford to bring Maria on a date to a restaurant tomorrow.
A young man determined to get that pussy.
And he puffs his chest up, eyes darting around to see if anyone in the crowd is already looking at what he is selling and begins the yelling with the best of efforts.
Like the taxi drivers, he makes individual efforts as the crowd begins to pass by.
He looks at you and says in a low voice “sushi, amigo?”
You shake your head and keep walking.
“vale…” he says.
And begins offering the food to anyone else passing by.
With the sound now of a trombone player performing outside of a restaurant to the side of you, you cross the street.
The beautiful sound of the trombone behind you now.
And now you are almost home.
But one more sound of yelling awaits you. An unexpected one.
As you arrive to your street, you see the cute chick who sells gorditas looking up at you with a cute smile YELLING “HOLA!!!”
This is a yell we can accept.
That of a cute woman instead of the sushi boy.
You wave back and arrive to the gates of your house 10 seconds later.
The gate unlocked.
And you are free at last.
Free from the yelling.
…..Or so you think.
In one last valient effort to get you to buy something, you hear yelling in the distance.
Not yelling at you specifically.
But yelling to the whole neighborhood.
“AGUA!!!! AGUA!!!!! AGUA!!!!”
It’s THE AGUA MAN.
With his parked van on the street a few houses down, he and his companion are stopping by for 5 minutes to yell “AGUA!!!!” repeatedly over and over again until SOMEBODY buys his agua.
“I’M NOT LEAVING UNTIL ONE OF YOU FUCKERS BUYS MY AGUA!!”
And, even with the door shut behind you and inside your home, the yelling can still be heard.
But it ends soon enough.
With rum in hand, you can finally relax to music like this here.
No more yelling.
All of the above literally just happened.
Is it annoying?
Not at all actually.
A little bit dramatic in how I recalled it with my choice of words but not annoying to me personally.
Still, I can see how some people find it annoying.
When I first arrived to Mexico ever almost a decade ago, my Spanish was weaker and I remember being confused in the city of Villahermosa.
Thinking to myself “why are these people yelling? What are they yelling about? DAMN, Mexicans are LOUD.”
It didn’t annoy me but it was maybe a “culture shock” in a way that, being from a small town in Iowa, you just don’t see that.
You don’t see endless people just YELLING or SHOUTING into the air to sell something.
And, truth be told, I wanted to title this article “The Shouting Latino.”
But, in all honesty, I can’t remember if this is as common in other Latin American countries.
I remember seeing it in Guatemala because I was there a few odd years ago for a visa run as you can read here.
But I can’t remember if Latin Americans shout as much in other countries like Peru or Argentina because it wasn’t an observation I ever make nor a detail that I cared as much about by the time I began traveling to South America.
And, outside of vendors, you do notice Mexicans shouting in normal circumstances when they don’t want to sell something.
Like shouting at family members or whatever next door.
Compared to other nationalities, I find Mexicans more commonly shouting at each other.
But it also depends HEAVILY on the neighborhood you live in.
A rougher neighborhood that has more people and is poorer tends to have A LOT more people shouting at you.
When you are trying to sleep until 11 AM and the neighbor next door is shouting “OYE OYEEEEE VEEEEEN,” that can be annoying.
But you get used to it and fall back asleep quickly enough.
Anyway, it’s a small detail to life in some parts of Latin America.
Perhaps more common in Mexico but, for those who have been to other parts of Latin America more recently than I have, let me know in the comments if you see this behavior commonly enough elsewhere.
I don’t remember it being common elsewhere outside of a few times in Guatemala but I just don’t remember it outside of that country as of right now.
Anyway, thanks for reading.
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