But in the city, Peru is anything but serene. Last night I woke up at least five times, and I'm a deep sleeper. The mangy cat that steals into our apartment from the unfinished stairwell made a racket in the dining room. I came out and scared him off with a broom.
The doorbell downstairs rang at 2 a.m. and Sergio went to the window to find a drunk man wanting in below. Because the bakery is busy cooking all night, some late nighters think it's a bar, I guess.
In the morning, I woke to the announcements at the colegio (high school) on our block. The loud speakers broadcast the national anthem, the principal's words of the day and music.
Just after breakfast, I heard the trash truck coming down the street, playing a classical music song to remind people to put their trash outside.
It was followed by a man bicycling his merchandise in a cart up the street, shouting into his loudspeaker what products he was selling: "Baterias! Baterias! Vasos! Platos! Casacas!" "Baterias! Baterias! Vasos! Platos! Casacas!"
Beyond the occasional sounds of the morning, there is also the background murmur of the city--the honking. You see, a stop sign or traffic light is a rarity in the city. Instead of stopping at every intersection, motorists just honk to let oncoming traffic know they're not stopping.
And all the honks are different. Some are whistles. Some are melodies. Some are just obnoxious. Maybe if I get the energy, I will try to make a soundtrack of the real sounds of the Andes.