Saturday, May 29, 2010

neighbourhood watch

A soaring seering heat, sweat dripping, mind a fog yet somehow in the midst of this trying climate I have much reason to feel alive, happy and have a blanket of calm around me. It seems ironic to me that in the most chaotic place I have ever been to that people are unphased, almost serene. Even when out on the road in the middle of the honking madness, people aren't aggresive or perturbed they are just getting on with it. This city for all it's vibrancy has a harsh, uncompromising enviornment and breathing in the toxins, the polluted air is all part of living here. That said for this past month, I have taken a battering from this relentless weather and the body gradually fell under it's demise. But now I have turned a corner and am ready, fighting fit and ding ding round 2 of the match-me against the hot season.

Even though I say people are calm, which they are- I also see their quiet, silent suppressed anger and yes, they get on with it but they have no way to express or fight what raw deal is handed to them. I keep a close eye on news from home, and yeah things are really shit, but if one thing living here has given me is a reality check. We are ok, we have resources, we have access to education, we have comparitively speaking, a health system. Very often, these people do not. If you feel hard done by-fair enough, but imagine this: this is just one example. A man, 20's, emaciated, ribs visible-asleep outside your nice, modern home (mine). Just him on his mat. If that doesn't give me reason to be thankful than nothing will.

On a lighter note, it fascinates me here how unselfconscious people are when it comes to noise pollution-there are no restrictions here. I often wake up in the morning with the loudest most horrific sounding plastic pop music-never have I heard so much Kenny G or Enrico Iglesius before. Or sometimes, in the alley near to my place, I will hear some tone deaf kareoke singing, oblivious as to how utterly awful they are sounding-it can be hilarious or at times annoying depending on the mood. One time recently I went on a bike trip with a great bunch of friends and we stayed in this mainly Vietnamese resort by the beach. Was lovely and we had a great night. Except for one thing-the kareoke went on ALL night. Lying in that tent, it was loud as any festival have been to-although I would much rather listen to the thump thump techno than listen to horrendous renditions of Boys II Men for the umpteen time. Ah but in hindsight, it's funny.

So, now I wonder what the neighbours think of me playing Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill at full blast...

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