Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Soundscapes

We first noticed it when staying with Nancymarie. Early in the morning loudspeakers stationed through out her village would switch on and music would fill the air followed by what we later learned were morning announcements. I never did learn what exactly was being announced for the entire village each morning.

We quickly discovered it was not unique to Nancymarie's village. While visiting Mike I was awakened each morning around 5 or 6 am (I never really checked the clock) to music and then announcements. Internet research as not revealed much detail about this trend but has confirmed it happens all over the country.

On our second day in Mike's village the music came on in the morning...and then it didn't go off. For a significant portion of the day eery music could be heard throughout the entire village. It reminded me a little of living is some sort of less than thrilling theme park with ambiance music being pumped in all the time. Occasionally the music would quiet to a whisper or disappear altogether only to return with a vengeance. As darkness settled Mike began to worry this was for good and that he would have to live with the music as a constant in his life. Later into the evening a voice came over the loudspeakers. Mike seemed to think they were saying something was wrong with the system and that the music would be on all the time. He was not a happy camper. The music would come and go. Each time it stopped it did so by lowering the volume to a level to quite to hear. We theorized that they were using the volume control as a work around for the problem with not being able to turn the system off. Finally around 9 pm the music stopped and did not return until morning. They must have fixed it in the night because after 15-20 minutes of morning announcements the music was once again gone and silence ruled the village (well, silence tempered with the sounds of scooters on the road).

— Sara

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