Monday, October 03, 2005

On Sunday mornings, our neighbors usually break out the karaoke machine and sing loudly for hours over the equally loud music. If you're in your house singing, do you really need a microphone? I suppose you do, especially if you want to hear yourself at a high volume over the high volume of the music. We usually drown it out with some of our own music, which our neighbors probably find equally disturbing. They stopped about an hour ago. As I write this, someone is taking a beating nearby. I can hear the slaps, the shouting and the screaming. An enraged Chinese man is obviously doing the dirty work, but I can't tell if it's a child or a woman on the receiving end. I guess those things happen everywhere. The sobering beginning of my afternoon...

The Chinese seem to do almost everything in a loud manner. There are actually advertisements on buses, TV commercials (that's right, TV on the buses, although, surprisingly, I can never hear them) which remind citizens to refrain from excessively loud behavior in public places, such as talking on the phone on trains or rambunctious dining. When I first arrived, almost fourteen months ago, and began to notice how Chinese people communicated with each other, I thought they were always arguing, but I've since learned that they're just very animated when they interact. It takes a little while to get used to it.

It's not only people, but other things, as well, which are done at a high volume. I've mentioned car-horn honking before, which is a regular serenade of impatience, but there's more. At 7:30AM every morning, I can hear a song blaring from the school across the street from our apartment. My coworker, Seth, who lives in the building next to ours, tells me that it's a Carpenter's song, but I'm not familiar enough with their music to say with certainty. Then, at 8:00AM, if anyone missed the first song, The Blue Danube waltzes the neighborhood awake. At my own school, Hickory Dickory Dock reminds us that class is either beginning or finishing.

2 comments:

Alson Teo said...

Let me see,

“our neighbors usually break out the karaoke machine and sing loudly for hours over the equally loud music.”

Occasionally when I am feeling bored at home I do that too, just like the rest of the other Singaporean.

“There are actually advertisements on buses, TV commercials (that's right, TV on the buses, although, surprisingly, I can never hear them)”

Ah, in Singapore, it is known as TV Mobile. Personally I find it very irritating. And the worst part is that you can’t switch the damn thing off. :(

“At 7:30AM every morning, I can hear a song blaring from the school across the street from our apartment.”

I live near a school too, just across my block. :)

Bob said...

Are you following me?

;b