The noise from the school next to Holly’s apartment is impressive in the morning. Holly had to leave early to get her lessons ready but she warned me. “I hope you have good headphones if you want to get any work done. It’s loud. They start at 8.” And it’s not that I didn’t believe her. She’s been telling me about the school noise for months, because it’s something I didn’t experience when I was here in the summer.
This morning I was buried under blankets when the noise began to build. It wasn’t so much dread inducing as how I imagine surfing must be like. You see the wave coming and I guess if you’re good at it you can tell what kind of wave it’ll be and how best to ride it, but I was out paddling on my board doing my best seal-impression for the sharks below, seeing something build and guessing. Is this it? How big will it get? Will I be able to handle it or am I going to be the shmuck who dies on his first attempt.
The school noise wasn’t that bad (I didn’t feel like I was going to die, and managed to get a good chunk of work done without good headphones), but it did keep on building and building until it stopped for a megaphoned voice to harangue people. Maybe it’s just because it’s Monday and this was the traditional week-beginning assembly or something, but the voice went on for an hour. After they all sang the national anthem, whose tune I realized I still could sort of remember from back in Wanzhou.
Even now (it’s about 10am) the kids are basically just white noise of shouting and boisterousness. It’s one of the shouting (or electronically amplified) teachers exhorting his students that really cuts through. He sounds a little like a hoarse host of a Japanese talk show, you know with all of that fake wacky energy? But it sounds like his class is responding so who am I to judge. Just a lousy ex-teacher who’s sitting in bed writing.children headphones japanese talk show loudspeaker nanchong national anthem noise ocean school seals sharks sleep wanzhou