Noise pollution or in this case a form of torture…

The polite woman who returned my call Saturday evening assured me the problem should be resolved today, Monday*. Apparently she had been unaware of the terrible noise emanating from her building’s sky fan until Friday by which time it was too late to have any maintenance person fix it. True or not her neighbours have been suffering the most ghastly assault on our hearing, to say nothing of our fraying nerves for nearly a week. The piercing screech of metal on metal screams from the rooftop of the new building complex behind ours and reverberates down the alley ways and rebounds from neighbouring buildings to such confusing effect one at first had difficulty pin-pointing its source. Even with all the windows shut it was impossible to block the tortuous sound and only by thinking of it as not dissimilar to the chorus of summer cicadas did I manage to sleep..

I have just dared to open the French doors, tentatively hoping the problem has already been fixed, but alas no. Perhaps even as I write a skilful technician is already on the roof investigating. I’ll take a look when Max gets his mid-morning walk. While doing so earlier a neighbour, busy watering her desperate garden popped her head above the wilting shrubbery to give her up-date. She too had phoned the building manager but evidently got a rude husband rather than his very civil wife. This lovely neighbour, who devotes her free time to rescuing distressed wildlife wasn’t having any of his nonsense. She promptly phoned City Hall to complain and was assured they take these matters seriously. The important thing is to keep phoning apparently, thereby moving the complaint further and further up the registry until the bureaucratic wheels physically head in this direction to investigate. She recommends I do the same which I shall certainly do before much longer.

I have to say it amazes me just how much city noise one manages to blot out, not least considering my ideal habitat by comparison is in the woods of Nova Scotia where only the delight of Nature’s chorus assails one’s ears. In the space of an hour the other evening a building fire alarm down the road suddenly sprang to life but since the building is new and evidently unoccupied only the emergency services responded. Thankfully they managed to silence the wretched thing. But understandably they didn’t respond 30 minutes later when a near by car alarm inexplicably came to life, and neither did its owner. Does anyone pay attention to car alarms? All this of course in addition to the daily hubbub of fire engines and ambulance sirens. I suppose we are meant to hear these whereas the clanging of the train bells and cruise ship horns from the port somehow register in a different manner, in fact quite pleasing, especially in the dead of night. Not that our nights are ever that dead mind you; drunks, whores and party goers passing on bikes can punctuate the brief episodes of nocturnal silence at any hour. It’s all about adjustment I guess but I can’t believe consciously or not, the noise pollution doesn’t take it toll! On that sobering thought I may venture outback in hopes of seeing a man clambering about on our neighbour’s roof and if not, City Hall will be getting my call.

* Up-date: the problem was indeed fixed Monday afternoon to the great relief of the entire immediate neighbourhood!