Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Sounds of the City of Taipei

When I make my life movie, and I'm in the works of a soundtrack, my time spent in Taipei will be nothing but scooter, jack-hammer, door chime, and classical-music playing garbage truck sounds! The amount of noise that this city creates is amazing. And yet, when I'm on the subway or the bus, they have strict assumptions that you will be extremely quiet and speak to no one unless need be. Of course us Americans have a hard time with that assumption.
Every morning I wake up to the construction site on the corner being demolished. Heavy machinery, jack-hammers, trucks being loaded each play their part in that little harmonic orchestra of chaos that storms my eardrum every morning at 7am. The part of my brain that appreciates music does not seem to respond well to this "orchestra." It usually triggers the 'sailor-mouth' portion of my brain and a fourth part in this Taipei Symphony is officially added.
Every night, between 6pm and 7pm, I have heard a tinny version of "Fur Elise" being played from the city streets. This repetition of the chorus makes my fingers itch because they are dying to be on those piano keys, playing along with this childish sounding version. Curiosity finally killed the cat a few nights ago. I heard this traveling song and was determined to find its source. Slipping on my sandles and grabbing my purse, I ran out the door. I walked down through the back alley, chasing the classical tune. And sure enough, there it was, a truck with bull-horn like speakers on the roof, blasting the song like an old fashioned ice cream truck. There are people running towards this truck. "Awww, people are that desperate for an ice-cream cone?" But wait, they are carrying something to the truck. What is that? They are throwing things at this truck!! This ice-cream truck has lost its whimsy--it is a GARBAGE truck; a garbage truck that travels up and down the streets every night, singing its classy tune, adding yet another harmonic part to this Taipei Symphony.

1 comment:

Kristina B said...

Love the blog! I can still hear the song that plays every time you open the door at 7-11. And my students will never let me forget my garbage truck/ice cream truck mistake!! Taipei is such a musical place!