Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loud planet.

I sometimes walk around with a little transistor radio just like this one in my jacket pocket, or I carry it in the mesh side-pocket of my backpack when I'm cycling. It's tuned to CBC AM, usually, what fills the NPR niche here. I don't like wearing ear buds, and much prefer this retro means of listening to stuff. I'm aware of others as I pass, so I keep the volume low, at a normal human speaking level so as not to disturb their reverie or other level of consciousness. But here's the thing: any motorized vehicle going past completely drowns out the radio. Forget diesel engines and motorcycles and other obviously offensively noisy machines. Even a Corolla drowns it out. The tires on the road are noisy.

If I blared the radio as loud as needed to keep it heard, it would be shouting. People would stare at me for A, being odd, and B, for being noisy. Car noise? Fine, apparently.

Have you ever been somewhere so quiet you can hear your blood pumping? People once heard that all the time. Now it would drive them mad. Me? I would I turn on CBC. Keeps you sane.


Eskarina said...

We once hiked up Dog Mountain (Mt. Seymour park) on a windless day. We stopped for a snack on a rock overlooking Vancouver, and could hear the traffic downtown.

Traffic noise sometimes seems ubiquitous.

Karen said...

My dad has these goofy headphones with a radio built in. He wears them so he can listen to the Mariners while carrying out my mom's orders in the garden. They are a bit silly-looking but maybe would be an in-between solution? I agree that earbuds are awful but that loud radios suck. I used to listen to the radio and/or CDs pretty much all the time, but now I favor silence when I can get it. Hard to come by with small fry about!

Hugh said...

Eskarina, Wow. If you're lucky, it can sound like a distant waterfall and you can pretend that's what it is.

Karen, I doubt I could manage the goofy earphones, plus I need the free air to hear when the kids are attacking each other. I also need the intelligent fare of the CBC. So the little Sony is a fixture.