28 February, 2010

Noise, Noise, Noise and More Noise

Here it is about five after three AM, Sunday morning. No special holiday or anything, and the noise is blasting away from Hailey's Bar up on the Northern Highway - better than half-a-mile from here as the crow flies.

I've just gotten off the phone with Sergeant George of the Belize Police Department, Corozal Station. I had called him on his personal cell phone number, waking him up. I told him I thought I had been quite patient and that this was the first time I had called him to complain. He agreed that I had been patient. I even held the phone out from my ear so he could also enjoy the music, which he heard through my phone with no problem. Of course, it was the music of the Gilharry 7, so that made the racket at least understandable.

Sergeant George told me he had called the station and sent some officers down to Hailey's, so, now I guess it's just a matter of wait and listen.

For the life of me, I don't understand how all of the hotels and guest houses on the south end of Corozal can attract (and keep) paying customers. For myself, if I was a paying customer, I would be furious. Also, I have heard that several of the hotels (especially some closer to Hailey's) have not even registered a complaint with the police about this situation. I guess their customers just don't mind their ears being blasted all night long.

If I was a tourist, I think seriously that I would be looking for somewhere else to spend my vacation dollars than to spend them only to have sleepless nights because of some two-bit (an Americanism for cheap or low-life) bar is able to set up a bank of speakers outside and just blast away with impunity as they see fit. At the lease, I would inquire about the noise situation at their hotel or guesthouse.

I would think that this situation would be intolerable among ALL of the hoteliers on the south end. Maybe I'm wrong... maybe not.

Ahhh, it's now 3:17 AM and the racket has finally stopped, but who's complaining? Me for one. I'm sure there's at least one other household doing the same. It's just too bad that the businesses on the south end, especially the hotels and guesthouses, don't seem to care about their customers or their businesses enough to talk to the Town Council, the Police, and the local Liquor License Board with a unified voice.

I keep reading how occupancy rates are barely forty-percent in Belize. With nights like this being more common than you'd think, I would guess the rates will continue to decline.

And if the hoteliers are scratching their heads trying to figure out why... why maybe they should take the cotton out of their ears and wake up!

- - Just a little addendum. This morning, on my daily walk with the girls, as I passed Tony's Inn & Beach Resort, the closest place to Hailey's, I passed one of Tony's employees just getting off work from the night shift. I paused and asked him if any of their customer's had complained about the noise from Hailey's. His answer - "Oh yes, mon. They were all complaining, but what can I do"? Kind of makes my point, I think.


orchis said...

Hi Dave and Dianna,

we can really understand your infuriation.
We hope that the cotton in the ears of the other neighbours will disappear quickly. We think that it's important that also the locals (we don't mean expats and hoteliers)complain.

Maybe they can found a public campaign.

The noise problem seems to be all over the country - as we could experiance in Bullet Tree (Cayo).

Best regards and future silent nights!

Anonymous said...

the "sound" problem is an accepted part of the Belizian will not comments on the embassy visit/meeting last thursday for expats? I missed it because was not informed...not surprising knowing how our embassy operates...wait, just had a thought, maybe you are Canadian?

Dave Rider said...

I disagree about it being accepted. Belizeans by nature don't complain. They may not like it but they don't do anything about it. Gringos on the other hand...

I didn't comment on the embassy meeting because I didn't go. I worked in government and met enough 'officials' then.

With Canadian satellite and several Canadian friends, I'm beginning to feel more Canadian - at least then, my wife and I would have healthcare!

Anonymous said...

Stop Stop Stop. Your complaining is more of a headache then any music I have ever heard coming from any of the bars here in Corozal. I have lived in Belize for over 15 years. It is a way of life here. I am sure you heard the music before you decided to move here. Maybe you could buy all the beach bars and turn them into libraries? just a thought.

Dave Rider said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for your opinion, but pardon me if I disagree. The locals I have talked to (a few, maybe six or so, in my scientific poll) don't like it one bit more than I do.
I wouldn't mind it if it's noisy till midnight or maybe on special occasions, but after 3:00 AM... give me a break.
And since it's my blog. I'll bitch all I want to, thank you very much.
Seriously, I do hope you enjoy some of my other postings - maybe one's where I'm not complaining so much.
PS - Maybe you noticed, the slant I tried to make wasn't so much my discomfort as that of tourists visiting Corozal and staying in some of the fine hotels and guesthouses we have here on the south end. If percentages are down as much as the BTB says they are, having disgruntled lodgers certainly is not going to help improve those figures. Just a thought - d

Anonymous said...

i used to live near hi5 in orange walk. the noise would bother me, but that would only last until 2am. ok. i could live with that, since i would have this problem friday and saturday nights. what bothered me most was the patrons smashing bottles and throwing garbage all over the street and into my property. the fights that would occur after the bar was closed, the cars driving by constantly playing loud music... etc etc. to top it off, the neighbours across the street from time to time would play music until 6am ... on speakers so loud, my house would rattle, and i would get splitting head aches by the time it was over.

to top it off, i found a customs agent and police officer together once, and told them about the problem. the police officer laughed, and the customs agent walked away and said nothing.

thankfully, i no longer live there, and with luck, i will never have to return to Belize. as someone said, the "sound problem" IS part of Belizean culture. nothing will change. i have had the same problem in Belmopan while staying at a B&B (the Piazza).

BrianAlex said...

Excellent information here.
I was contemplating an adventure into Belize because my neighbors are from there and have told me what a wonderful country it is(that they moved away from twice).
Now I know I will avoid the place like the plague.
I thank you for saving me a bundle and the time and aggravation.-BA

Dave Rider said...

Hi BrianAlex,

Well, even with the noise, I'd say it's your loss. You might want to at least come down for a week or two. Who knows, you just might fall in love with the place.
Have you read any of my other postings? I think you'd find something of interest.


BrianAlex said...

Well no,I haven't read much else.I guess I was just lucky to come across the noise pollution info first.
I have had other similar sounding experiences in other countries with vehicles roaming the streets late at night/morning with powerful PA systems mounted on the roofs barking the deals to be had etc. In the stifling tropical heat/humidity one has to close all windows and use the best possible ear plugs and a pillow folded over ones head,yet sleep is still impossible. If Belize is anything similar to this experience;No Thanks

Dave Rider said...

Hi BrianAlex,

We only have mobile PA systems at election time (so far,there's only one mobile unit in town).
Anyway, I think you're missing out on a glorious experience. Your loss.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave, second request...How do I cut off comments coming to my box...I made comment re noise...but do not want to continue receiving others comments...tried unsubscribing and only get info to start a blog!?


BrianAlex said...

Well,basics are basics.
I hear a body can survive three weeks without food.But a few days without sleep drives one stark raving mad.I'm already raving mad,I'd hate to add stark to my credentials.
If I make my planned Guatemalan Highlands trip,maybe I will plan a 2-3 day side trip to Belize.I think I can take two sleepless nights if they are lots of fun.
Thanks for your blog. I will read more when I have a chance. BA Gardener to the stars

Unknown said...


It is unfortunate that some will make a decision based on one localized incident.

For me I would let a lot of other factors decide my fate in Belize other than one post on a blog about a noisy neighbor. I'm sure if the bar ceased to exist the noise level would go back to the norm it was when you moved there.

Personally, I look forward to being there and experiencing the noise and all the other things that are to be experienced.

Hang in there.


Bob Noldashel

Dave Rider said...

Hi John,

That's a good question. I don't know the answer off-hand. I'll try to find out ASAP and will post it here as soon as I do find out.



I don't want to give the impression that the noise occurs every night - it doesn't. Maybe one night a week, and of course, if there's a holiday.

Usually, our nighttime serenade is crickets and tons of frogs, and of course, chorus' of dogs at times, just about what you'd expect in the bush (jungle).

Anyway, Cheers,

Dave Rider said...

Hi Everyone,

I found out how to unsubscribe to comments in a Blogger blog (not sure about others).

Here's how.

First, a reminder of how your subscribed to comments by email in the first place:

"The comment subscription feature allows readers of a blog to receive an email each time a comment is made to a particular post. You can subscribe to a post's comments by clicking the "Email" link next to "Subscribe to comments" on the post page.

In order to subscribe to comments by email, you must be logged in to a Google Account. Please log in with the account using the email address at which you'd like to receive the comment emails. As soon as you're logged in, you'll be taken to a confirmation page where you can click "Subscribe" to opt in. On this page, you'll also have the option to use a different Google Account to receive comment emails.

After you subscribe, you'll receive one email for every comment published on the post. For moderated comments, an email will be sent out only after the comment has been approved by the moderator."

Now, here's the part that John was looking for - Unsubscribing:

"You can unsubscribe from comments by email at any time; just click the unsubscribe link in the comment emails you receive.

Or, alternatively, you can click the "Unsubscribe" link on the blog's comment page. Then, just as when you subscribed to comments by email, you'll be taken to a confirmation page where you can confirm your un-subscription."

I hope this helps everyone. I learned something too.