11 April 2010

A Cambodian Cacophony

One unpleasant part of life in South East Asia can be the noise. As I write the rich and arrogant neighbours across the street are having another party. That's not unusual anywhere of course. But what is odd is how everyone tolerates deafening noise. Our neighbours don't like it, but they resign themselves to it; they won't utter a word of complaint. Most of the guests don't seem to like it either; at this party some of the older ones, are pressed up to the speakers, stony-faced and  unable to even hear themselves think.

It's the same at some weddings too- nevermind that they are often held on busy and noisy streets- there just has to be thunderous music to drown out conversation and the occasion. Thailand is similar and one thing I don't miss about that country is the pick-up trucks that roam the streets with huge loudspeakers blaring out advertising and political messages. Supposedly many, many, Bangkokians are hearing-impaired for just that reason. Cambodians seem intent on going down that track, too.

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