"Isn't there something you can do about that dog barking all the time?" he asks, trying to restrain his fury.
"But señor, why do you listen?"the landlord asks.
Why, indeed? It's a question I've often discussed with ex-pat friends, many of whom have dealt with the issue of unwanted noise in Mexico. Appreciation of noise is definitely one of those cultural divides. Over the years, I've been able to develop a slightly more Buddha-like attitude to disturbances beyond my control, but being from New York City, where complaining is an art form, there's always a part of me that screams out for justice.
The problem got bad in my neighborhood a few months back when someone across the street got a new dog and left it on the roof unattended, and then left for work all day. It went on for months. You could hear the pain in the poor dog's throat. One day I counted more than 10 hours of non-stop barking. We were able to identify the building where the dog lived, but hesitated to contact the owners directly, not knowing how they might respond.
But guess what? There was relief available from our very own municipal government! You can contact the Procuraduría Ambiental y del Ordenamiento Territorial del DF and make a complaint about any environmental issue. You can make a denuncia on the internet through their website:
Or even better, go directly to the office at Medellin 202. 4to. Piso, Colonia Roma Norte
(Click HERE for map link)
Eventually we got an email, in elaborate beaurocrat-ese, saying that someone had visited the dog's owners and seen 'Nina' and her 4 pups. There was no elaboration about how the matter was handled, but we haven't heard a peep since.