Life in Mexico Pt 2: Of Ranchos and Roosters

“It’s because they used to be dinosaurs”

I woke up to an ear-shattering shrieking noise. The sun wasn’t even up yet, and the roosters were crowing. They were right outside the window, and the sound was incredibly shrill and loud.

I had come to visit my friend Miriam’s ranch out in the boonies of Jalisco. The drive was an adventure in itself, the last hour of it spent on a cobblestone and dirt road that did a number on my friend Scotty’s car. We stayed up late enjoying the Mexican Independence Day celebrations, but the roosters had no intention to let us sleep in.

From movies, books, and TV, you might think roosters do this:

In real life, roosters do this:


And they do it from well before sunrise to well after sunset.

When I finally gave up on sleeping and joined the rest of the house, I said “Somebody must have been denying Christ quite a bit this morning because the roosters would not stop crowing.” None of the Americans I was with got this joke, but all the Mexicans did.

I spent most of that groggy morning pondering why in God’s name roosters feel the need to crow incessantly. What evolutionary purpose does it serve? My friend Kyle pointed out “It’s because they used to be dinosaurs”. This makes perfect sense. They’re not cute little chirpy birds – they’re mean miniature dinosaurs, constantly vying for dominance.

Aside from the acoustic terrorism inflicted by the roosters, we actually had a very nice time. The first day we went to the big rodeo and dance. See the video below (note that there are some boring parts in the middle when they’re crowning the queen and princesses of the dance. The queen looks like a Mexican Lena Dunham):

One of my favorite people at the dance was a girl whose name I can’t remember. She looks like a Mexican version of my baby sister Rachel. She was even born in Oregon! Her uncle assured me she would make a good wife, but I declined this generous and creepy offer by explaining that her resemblance to my sister was just too uncanny.

Rachel’s Mexican Twin

The next day, we went to a beautiful waterfall on the property of Mexican Rachel’s dad, but first, Juan, who looks like a Mexican Harvey Keitel, took us to his cow pen to milk the cows and make pajaretes, a mixture of fresh milk, chocolate syrup, and moonshine. This mixture is also called chocomilk magico (magic chocolate milk). Pretty damn tasty, and it consoled my shame at being a complete and utter failure at milking the cow.

Scotty and Mexican Harvey Keitel

Bonus rooster story: Just the other day, I was walking back to my house when a drunk man come up to me with a rooster under each arm and asked me if I could help him out by carrying one of his roosters. Between the shock, the lack of experience holding roosters, and the habit of saying no to Mexicans trying to sell me stuff whenever I walk down the beach or the boardwalk, all I could muster was “No, thank you”. He was quite miffed and said “No thank you? Come on, man, help me out!” but I told him I had to catch the bus and got out of there.

Never a dull moment in Puerto Vallarta.