Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stop the Music!

Question for any religious scholars who may be reading this: If you kill a human on Poya Day, does that mean especially bad Karma for you, or is it the same as killing an ant? I remember a few Poyas ago Manurie tried to stop me from killing the ants on the kitchen counter. I explained that I'm not Buddhist and thus, it wasn't bad if I whacked them. The lesson learned is that killing is bad on Poya. Yet, Poya was Saturday and I swear the drivers were worse than normal. I mean, cars are death machines (particularly when you consider the statistics here) and yet no one seemed to try to drive sanely on Saturday. If someone had perished due to one's inability to drive according to the law, does that mean one's karma is doomed?

Anyway, the point of this post is not to again decry the lack of sanity within the human race, but to decry the loud speakers outside my bedroom windows. See, houses in Sri Lanka are not sound proof. Very much the opposite actually, with all windows and some doors built with vents above them. I think these vents are meant to keep air flow moving in the stifling heat (it is still in the high 80's here for those of you enjoying winter). So air is moving, great, but this also allows in all the sounds from outside. Thus, I get the joy of hearing the birds and monkeys making a fuss, but I also get the sound of the stupid loud speakers blaring unintelligible gibberish at all hours.

To be fair, it isn't gibberish if you speak Sinhala, but as I don't, so it is gibberish to me. There was some sort of cricket tournament in the cricket field this weekend, which apparently means that loud Bollywood music must be played starting at what felt like 6 a.m. and continuing until the game begins. Then a commentator was employed to speak for every second of the cricket game. Now I realize my readers in the U.S. don't know this, but a cricket game lasts, oh, about 10 hours. So I had this nonstop commentary blaring through my windows all day. I'm not kidding about how loud it was -- I could not play my Ipod loud enough to cover the sound.

Tonight I had the added joy of them ending the evening with some sort of disco. If you have been to a rural disco in the developing world you know this means really bad music. Again, Ipod was employed, but unsuccessfully and thus I had to listen to this music until it finally stopped at 10 p.m.

I think I can owe the end to a recently passed law. That is right, it is now against the law to blare loudspeakers from 10 p.m until 7 a.m. (which, if they are enforcing this law, means the music probably didn't start at 6 a.m. and I could be exaggerating). Generally laws such as this one, laws that make total and complete sense, do not get enforced here and are just there on the books for future lawyers to mull over in law school. I'm going to think positively and believe that this law, for my sanity, is indeed being enforced.

I'm also going to believe this cricket tournament is over because frankly, I can't take another day of the constant noise!

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