City Noise

For the first 18 years of my life, I can count on one hand the things I could possibly hear while falling asleep at night.

  1. Crickets
  2. Thunder
  3. Cows mooing (although only very early in the morning, cows don’t really moo at night)
  4. Peepers
  5. I honestly can’t think of a fifth thing…
I lived in the country, on a dirt road. There wasn’t much to hear. Maybe that is why I had to fall asleep to a lullaby tape until I was six or seven years old…
Then I went to college, and the types of things I had to fall asleep to doubled.
  1. Loud music
  2. My freshmen year neighbor’s AIM noise (remember that?)
  3. People screaming
  4. People singing
  5. The occasional drunken fight
  6. My sophomore room mate’s sleep talking (although to be fair, I also talked in my sleep)
  7. Security breaking up a party down the hall
  8. The sound of dice being tapped on a table (Beer Die was invented at Colby College, best and perhaps most confusing drinking game ever invented)
  9. People having sex
  10. My senior year room mate’s boyfriend’s snoring
Then I moved to Santiago, Chile and a few months later into my own apartment which is in a pretty happening neighborhood. Sounds that I have heard while sleeping, or attempting to do so…
  1. Micros (city buses) driving by (this is constant, all night long)
  2. Screeching car wheels
  3. Construction
  4. Loud music
  5. A baby crying
  6. Saxophone music
  7. Chinchineros
  8. A Beatles cover band
  9. REALLY bad karaoke
  10. Panpipes
  11. Someone barfing (on more than one occasion)
  12. Someone peeing
  13. Children chanting (I live next to a school)
  14. Children screaming (see above)
  15. People singing
  16. People yelling “goooooooooooooooooooooooooollllll”
  17. Soccer fans singing after a victory
  18. Cars honking incessantly for hours (see: Piñera’s Victory, Miners Rescued, World Cup, Student Protests, etc.)
  19. Charlie yowling while hunting moths
  20. My neighbor’s cigarette smoke (obviously smelling instead of hearing, but it is not very easy to fall asleep, or to be woken up, to the odor of my neighbor’s cancer habit)
  21. Firefighters, ambulances, police cars
  22. Car and house alarms
I have to admit, I’ve gotten quite accustomed to all this noise, and if it wakes me up, I can usually fall back asleep. However, last Thursday, it was 1:00 am and I woke up originally because Charlie was hunting moths, and apparently found a really great one he wanted to show me. (Remind me again why I adopted a nocturnal animal?) I took advantage and went to the bathroom. As I was settling into sleep again, I heard this.
And then this.
And then some commercials. Then this.
And then this.
It was like my own personal concert. I mean, I appreciate the 80s just as much as the next person, but I was trying to sleep.
Come on, Santiago. Is it too much to ask to pipe down a bit?

9 thoughts on “City Noise

  1. I can tolerate city noise because my hometown has steelworks right in the middle of it and they make continuous noise 24/7 … but music from neighbours and parties like that at 1am, I genuinely can’t tolerate. You have a lot more patience than me, hunni. I’d be knocking on their door telling them to shuurrrrruppp! 😛

    I love your new layout by the way. 🙂

    • That’s Ceri! Steelworks…that must be rough. The problem is that the music is not usually from my building, but the surrounding buildings. So I would have to figure out what building it was and get up in the middle of the night to tell them to be quiet…needless to say that is way too much work! I have considered calling the cops before though.

  2. I can’t sleep with noise, so I wear earplugs… and I am still the one that hears the kids first if they wake up… can you say NOT FAIR!

    Love the new look!

  3. Re: college #2, we got neighbor Eric falling asleep with the TV still on, that is to say, the dulcet tones of Fresh Prince of Bel Air at 2am.

  4. I had to laugh at this post because it’s exactly what I have encountered. We live close to town in Valparaiso and the people here have no respect for the concept of sleep. We also have our downstairs neighbours smoke waft up through the cracks in the floor at all ours of the night I have been known to put a wet towel on the floor to try and suppress it. Thanks for the laugh.

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