Environment is a privilege people don’t think about. It is the way you grew up. You may not notice that your house is not in a flight path, near a freeway, poorly lit, suffering from light pollution. You grow up and think that where you live is normal and some of the more minor sounds or sights you experience just pass by when you are visiting. Some people will eventually experience them and be stunned at the difference.
You may have a sound problem. If you live in an area that has planes flying overhead every once in a while, you may not even notice them eventually. The people who do notice, are the real estate agents. They are able to sell a nicer house at a lower cost because it is noisy. There are even cities that limit this so much, planes have to take off in a near vertical position so they can avoid the nearby city, if that city generates enough money.
You also have the sounds of factories, trains, freeways, trucks and the frequent sirens. These sounds are never as obvious, until you’re trying to put a kid to sleep. That train whistle can shake a baby awake. That plane flying over can cut nap time in half. That siren can mean waking up at 4AM. The worst sound though, are the people. Some are just out and inconsiderate, that’s life. Then there are the assholes who purposely put modified mufflers on their cars or remove the baffles from their motorcycles. Even worse are the people who are blaring music. There is a decibel level at which you music does not get more immersive and enjoyable.
Lastly, there are the people who can’t help it. The people who’s mufflers are loud because their car is old or who work until 3AM and want to watch TV when they get home and have a beer. These people should not have to walk on water to relax after work, but 9/10 the reason the person is working such a shitty shift, is because it pays more.
Then there’s the odd light pollution. This one is mind boggling. This one has people with dim to no lights on their street, which would make anyone feel a little less safe. That is juxtaposed with the main streets having so many neon, bright, forever lit signs that act like becons to the people up at crazy hours. That is exactly what they are too. They are beacons for crazy. They are the reason the crazy people come to a shop. They realize if the light is on, someone’s home and it’s something to do or somewhere to be at an odd hour.
It’s all a part of life often looked over, but it becomes so obvious. Some people feel the shift when they go into the ocean or mountains. Others feel it when they go to the nice part of town. Sadly, my own family thought my neighborhood was too upscale for them. They realized when walking down the street one day that there was a strange noise in my neighborhood. They kept pointing it out and I didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. We finally figured out it was the sound of the transformers (electrical, not Michael Bay). They were just passing electricity, but it made a noise. My cousin said, “Damn, this place is so quiet, you can hear the electricity moving by.”