Noise Control

I’m nice and well alcoholized. So I think I’m just going to muse about the sound of music.

It’s a love-hate relationship I have with the apartment complex’s noise curfew.

We live right above the jacuzzi in an apartment complex mostly populated by college kids. So we LOVE the noise curfew because it gives us the reason to 1) shut down parties, and 2) kick the kids out of the jacuzzi. The security people have been really good about locking up the jacuzzi at 10 p.m. as well, so we haven’t had as much problems as we used to. And the kids know about the Jacuzzi Nazis that we are, skipping security and go straight for the cops. Because, you know, if it’s locked and you’re in it, it’s trespassing.

But on the same token, I found myself in many occasion that I’m thoroughly musically inclined in the late hours. But I have to pull the lid on my piano because of the noise curfew and seek my refuge with the guitar instead. And I can’t play much on the guitar, plus if I’ve neglected to play for a while, the callous on my fingertips are so far gone I couldn’t withstand a lot of playing. Even then, I’m still afraid to sing too loudly. No Sweet Child of Mine after 10 p.m. I can tell you that.

So I’m caught in the middle. If I play earlier in the night, there usually are people in the jacuzzi. If I can hear them, I got super self conscious so I don’t usually play anything fancy i.e. Sweet Child of Mine…which needs a LOT of practice. I’ll stick with songs I know well and confidence I won’t mess up i.e. Desperado, 5 for Fighting’s Superman. But then if I wait until they leave, it’s too late and I don’t want to keep the neighbor downstairs awake either.

I can’t wait to get into a house. At least I can play until someone throws a brick at my window. But we’re a long way from that right now.

That is another thing I miss about my house back in Bangkok. I’m far enough away from my neighbors in all directions! Well, the apartment building behind our backyard is close enough, but most people have their AC on and they won’t hear a thing.

It’s odd our we are smack dab in the middle of a metropolis, but there have been a few occasions where my music carried so far, we had strangers in our backyard listening in. Once I busted out the Thai instrument called khim, a Thai dolcimer if you will. Some farang (Westerner) was out jocking in the neighborhood heard it, and followed the sound into our big back yard to listen. A few other occasions I would play under candlelights when the electricity was out in the monsoon season, and my mom would spot a few folks on the balcony of the apartment.

That was before I met other talented people in the US. When I’m here, I feel completely inediquate to be playing or singing. Back home, at least a chance is in my neighborhood I could be the only one who is even slightly musical.

Small pond-big pond adjustment totally.

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