[This was written a couple weeks ago. Since we’ve been too busy to do anything worth writing about, I’m posting it now.]
Are there noise laws here? I have my doubts.
All cities are noisy. Pretty much all urban dwellers hear the rumble of traffic seeping through their doors and windows on a consistent basis. It’s background noise that you just tune out. But I think Yonghe – our city in Taipei district – takes it to a new level. Population density + lack of noise laws = Holy noise pollution, Batman!
We were deceived by Chinese New Years, during which time the city empties out with everyone traveling. It didn’t look that way at the time… seemed like a healthy population level was still here to us! We just figured lots of shops were closed and everyone was taking it easy, and didn’t expect it would be much different after New Years (aside from dumplings and intestine soup being offered in more locations). But I noticed something was different when, for couple mornings in a row, I woke up to see Jessica trying to sleep with her pillow wrapped around her head. What, is it too noisy?
Now all the commuters are commuting and all the trucks are back running their routes. Between the big trucks, the legions of motor scooters (one night at a red light Mingdaw called them a “scooter army”), the garbage trucks’ Fur Elise, the bell-ringers on scooters preceding the musical garbage trucks to let you know the
icecream garbage is on its way, the loudspeakers (a popular advertising tool, often mounted on truck tops), and everyone’s new pet dogs wang-wanging, some days there’s little point in trying to sleep past 7am.
… which is good in a way, because right now can’t afford to sleep in.