What melodious mutterings reach your ears between midnight and the wee small hours of the morning? What reaches from beyond your bedroom to disturb your urban space or rural idyll? Theraputic sounds or just plain noise?
Just last week I thought I had escaped far enough into the forest, where I would be serenaded to an early sleep by countless cicadas and kept in dreamland by the pitter patter of falling rain. Ah well, such is indeed the stuff of dreams. The local muezzin, inspired perhaps by the lunar new year, kept the microphone on after the last call to prayer and kept thinking of new items for general distribution.
A few days later I tried again. Another province, another forest – this time at the end of a lovely valley, beside a waterfall. Perfect. Except that it was Saturday night and some giant speakers were wheeled out of hiding and linked up to a generator. Thump, thump, thump... the valley acted as a giant sounding board and Britney’s “oh baby baby..” broadcast into the tropical night.
Birdsong, I reasoned, must be better. The small town hotel on the coast of Kalimantan at least had swifts nesting nearby and the chatter of returning birds would make a pleasant soporific as my tired head hit the pillow. Wrong. It was a tape, on repeat throughout the night, turned to full volume and meant to attract more birds to the artificial nest site next door. A “des res” for working birds.
And your noisiest location, location, location? Arjay will award a pair of earplugs to the best offering.