The first night in our new house in our new town we didn’t sleep very well at all. It wasn’t the unfamiliar surroundings or the stress from all the boxes piled in every corner or the neighborhood mosque’s call to prayer. Nope, it wasn’t any of those things. It was bass, bass, bass of some music. And it shook, shook, shook our bed until an ungodly hour. We woke the next morning with dark circles under our eyes and with hopes that the last night was a one night occurrence. But to our despair the following night, the same thing: bass that made the bed shake. Around 1 o’clock a.m. my usually gentle-spirited husband had enough. He jumped out of bed and took off down the street trying to track down the perpetrator. Thankfully, the sound was coming from across the river and my husband was left to internalize his frustration and no damage was done to the new foreigner’s reputation.
Move forward a few weeks. We have new neighbors, yay! Large trucks start to appear and a huge tent is set up for what looks like will be the party of the year. This will be fun! A chance to meet our new neighbors and hopefully start building relationships in our neighborhood. So the music starts…its about 9 am. Karaoke. Great! I enjoy a good off- key rendition of Celine Dion as much as the next person. Sprinkle in a few national and local classics…golden! We decide to head over around noon (because the music is actually stopped for afternoon prayers and we can talk to the hosts and the guests in a normal tone). Our kids are all red and sweaty-faced and they meet tons of kids. It’s a good afternoon and we walk down the street to put our kids down for naps. This, of course, is difficult because …you guessed it…man, that bass sure does carry.
The festivities start to slow down around dinner time and we are thinking that the music will also be turned off and the party will shut down soon. Oh, we were so foolish. What were we thinking? You know, in the U.S., we have laws against loud noises. Maybe we get carried away with our laws but it sure is comforting to know we could call the police if a party next door is out of control. But not here. I actually forgot to mention, our new neighbor IS A COP!
What about you? Are the weddings and celebrations loud in your host country?