The beat goes on

This evening, the music started up again.

I’d thought that when we moved away from the Chinatown Complex, we’d leave the raucous din behind. No matter how much you like Cantonese opera and community karaoke, three years of every weekend and three weeks at Chinese New Year seemed quite enough. In our new apartment, in its cold, harsh professionalism, there seemed no space for an impromptu shouting contest set to music. But I was wrong.

About seven p.m. today, somebody who couldn’t play the guitar started playing the guitar, incredibly loudly. Because of the strange acoustics in our building, you couldn’t tell if he was up on the roof, down at ground level, inside our flat or over the road somewhere. But he was making a terrific din.

An inept drummer joined in shortly after, and then somebody who couldn’t sing turned up too. I had a child to put to bed and an Important Business Telephone Call to make, and a dreadful headache, and didn’t want to deal with this.

But the beat goes on. You can’t stop the music, apparently. Well, maybe you can if you are The Law, but not if you’re a harried salaryman who can’t tell if the noise is coming from up or down. Could I just call the police and complain there was unscheduled frivolity occurring at a high volume in Tanjong Pagar? I’d get my visa revoked for wasting police time.

So I shut all the windows to block out the noise, and our child wailed at us for fully half an hour because we were the kind of cruel parents who make her go to bed, and the apartment grew hotter and hotter without any ventilation. Occasionally desperate, I’d crack open the windows and the din would blast in again, until about 9:30, when it abruptly stopped.

Who is having that much fun on a Thursday night?

2 responses to “The beat goes on”

  1. “No matter how much you like Cantonese opera and community karaoke” ?!
    I live next to din as well now! Although mine is a tasteful low key trendy dance music din, Fridays and Saturdays only, and organised licensed din rather than anonymous neighbourly din.

    More annoying is the random shouting in the street at midnight/one am. (“I’m gonna get you! I’m gonna do you! Raarr!”) Do Singaporeans do that kind of stuff?

    • Not so much. Din in Singapore feels more organised than ad hoc al fresco yelling between drunks. Well, apart from Clarke Quay at six in the morning, when I used to run past the Asian equivalent of suburban London high streets at kicking-out time…

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