Saturday, March 22, 2008

Silence, a First

Last night I experienced a first for me here in Brazil, certainly here in Salvador.

When I went to bed

I heard

absolutely

nothing.

Well, not nothing- what I heard is that sound I hear in the absence of all other sounds that mask it- the tiny roar of what I presume is the blood coursing through my ear. Either that or some relic of my rock and roll days, back then there was a distinct ring which may have dropped off to this sound as I close in on the doddering old age of forty.

Brazil, as I have oft mentioned, is a noisy place. If you don't believe me, read this by the other expat American blogger in Salvador. Or better yet, come to Brazil! My first night, on my first visit here, lying in a bunk in a grubby hostel in Pelourinho (already having met my future wife, but that's another story), I was serenaded by a taxi with it's doors open blasting Bryan Adams turned up to 11. At 2 in the morning. Why, you may ask, did you stay there? Good question. I don't have a good answer. Actually, I do- it was the future wife. Why, you might also ask (I often do), do Brazilians love Bryan Adams so much? I can answer honestly that I have no fucking clue. It's not because they love the words, they don't understand any of the words. But I know a guy who will literally cry, with tears running down his cheeks, when a certain Bryan Adams song comes on that I would much prefer to never hear again in my life.

Anyhow, I was talking about the silence. It was glorious. I hadn't heard silence like that since the last time I was in the States, at both of my parent's houses. It made me think of all the things that were missing to allow it to exist- cars, neighbors, fans, yapping dogs, crying babies, wife and children. And music. It's not an experience I expect to be repeated anytime soon because of a confluence of events that created it- it was Good Friday, so lots of people were traveling. This nominally includes my family, who once again are in Paripe for the Easter weekend. I'll join them tomorrow. It was three in the morning, an hour I am trying not to be awake at anymore but nonetheless found myself. And, due to the rains we've been having, it was cool enough to have the fan off (Evani, who 'sleeps hotter' than I do, always wants the room a bit cooler than I do). So when I fell back in bed and stopped thinking about everything else there it was- utter peaceful quiet.

I enjoyed it for a while, and then I did the darnedest thing- I got up and turned on the fan. I couldn't get to sleep without it's comforting hum.

1 comment:

AkuTyger said...

I can't sleep without the fan either - it keeps the mosquitos at bay, if nothing else. Our street is surprisingly quiet at night, considering how close to Paulo VI we are. So quite that the doorman wakes me up when he waters the plants at 5 AM.