Saturday, December 12, 2009

Music of the night


It's been like one month ten days since my last post, and I can already see the cobwebs around this page. I suppose that's the thing when the current year is coming to a close, and we teachers are off on the long year-end break. We slow down....really slow down. We stretch out our legs, cup our hands behind our heads, shake off whatever else that is niggling us, and...

relax. Just relax.

But, I just wish that this relaxation isn't interrupted at night. You see, every other day the garbage truck does its rounds around here collecting all the refuse from each road around the housing estate. The service is usually reliable, so that's nothing to grumble about.

What irks me though is the time it comes: right smack in the dead of night. That's usually between two to four in the morning. And when the garbage collectors come, four things happen:

1. Dogs howl: This is about the first thing you'll hear, as if in welcome of the approaching blue truck. The many dogs from various houses in the neighbourhood start barking one by one, starting with one from afar, and slowly coming closer, building up to a crescendo.

2. The truck growls: Soon after the first few dogs start barking, then you'll hear the garbage truck - a deep, almost guttural sound that seems to come from the very bowels of that heavy truck. And just for greater effect, the driver seems to enjoy stepping on the throttle a little longer before shifting, making that low growl turn into something like the stampede of tens of pigs.

3. The bins thud: Not just one thud, mind you. But, if there were ten houses on your street, then that's ten thuds. And let's not forget the dragging of these bins to the truck (the wheels on these bins don't seem to be very hardy).

4. The collectors chatter: These worthy men are quiet most of the time, but occasionally they shout out orders or chat, or laugh, or do whatever it is that normal people do for communication. It's just that it's in the middle of the night.

And what's the outcome of all these four sounds coming together? A racket that's bound to wake you (and maybe even the dead) up. But, thankfully it lasts for only a short period. And then, it's back to listening to the more pleasant sounds of the night: snores.