Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The luxury of hearing not so random noises

Unless I am having very lucid recurring dreams, something keeps waking me up on weekdays from about 9-10am. The reasons vary from day to day but it's either a very noisy kid jumping or shouting his way up and down the stairs, someone talking excessively loud on their mobile phone, very loud shoes or a ghost that likes waking me up. It's not every day but it is proving impossible for me not to shout "shut up" - the noise is that loud. It's not a big deal but something I could do without.

Some of my co-workers have it far worse than me. One couple lives above a piano school. It's very loud when they get going and that's from just listening outside. I can only imagine what its like having to put up with that. Another person I work with is being harassed by people in his apartment building where anytime he makes a sound they are on his back, threatening him with being evicted. This has never happened to me during my three years here. Where I am now I can play music or have the TV on as loud as I want and nobody complains. Perhaps it is me who is disturbing other people.

When I worked at my previous academy I lived on the 1st floor and heard a lot more noises than I do these days tucked 'safely' away on floor two. At various times of the morning I would hear or be woken up by men selling fruit, usually oranges. They would never knock on your door and you hardly ever saw them but you knew they were there because of the outrageously loud noise of the speaker on their truck which relayed the same message over and over again. Very Korean and something most foreigners will have experienced during their time here.

Looking back at my life before I came to Korea I always woke up before 9am, even when I was a student. I'm also a light sleeper. Once I'm up, I'm awake for a long time. I always had something to get up for, but these days there are still large holes in the daytime that I struggle to fill. Waiting for the clock to reach work time. I'm lucky to be in the situation where I don't have to get up until I want to. Some kind of luxury which I don't always appreciate. I wonder what it will be like for me when I return home. Will I be able to cope with the return to normality?

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