Diary 2014/06/07 Sensations

Sorry that there are no photos yet, I forgot my camera cable!

The thing I’ve become the most sensitive to in my new environment is the sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it as acutely in the past how after moving all of the new sounds assault the senses before one’s become accustomed to them. Each new sound brings new information about the place you’ve come to. In the apartment, first there are the construction noises. My flat is newly refurbished, and it would seem every other flat in the apartment block is undergoing the same treatment. Next are the people sounds from the block and streets below. Loudest (or rather highest pitch) are the children playing, followed by bicycle bells and car horns. Then come the sounds of shouts and warnings. After that animal noises. Dogs bark throughout the day, and the occasional cock will crow in the mornings. That’s when I remember that I’m not in a big city anymore! There are even crickets, cicadas and frogs at night. The sounds of summer… The hardest things to get used to are all the new ticks, beeps and buzzes that come from inside and outside my flat. The hum of the refrigerator, the flaring of the boiler, the strange constant beep that often begins in the night (I think it’s lift/elevator-related)… In a new home, you have to learn when everything likes to go “bump”—and while I wouldn’t say it makes me jumpy, it does set me on alert: are those normal sounds or irregular sounds I should be on guard about? I can’t tell yet, because I’ve not even lived here a week!

The same goes for lights, flashes in my peripheral vision. Outside my window, night is a world of neon and fluorescence which my brain is trying to decipher. When I move my head and something reflects in my glasses, is it friend or foe? More importantly, is it a mosquito?? I endured a dirty skirmish the other night, bitten and buzzed at for a good few hours before it let me sleep. At least I assume it was only one mozzie… one very hungry mozzie.

The next day, however, was one of the most beautiful weather-wise I’ve had since I’ve come to Chengdu. Nothing special about the sky; it was the temperature that I loved. After some hot, muggy, rainy days, the temperature has dropped and there’s a light summer breeze blowing through the flat. Nothing can compare to cooking one’s dinner while a cool vent of air caresses the skin. I close my eyes and let the feeling envelop me; a lightness takes my soul and a smile plays on my face. The shifting breeze is constant and relaxing. Here embraced by sound and air, I feel happy.

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