Who has become increasingly aware of the cacophony that characterises modern life? The symphony of sounds we are exposed to on a daily basis? Or said straight up: the huge amount of noise our everyday lives are subjected to?

I started noticing after a recent visit to Las Vegas. My husband and I were strolling casually down The Strip when the phone rang with work-related questions that needed answering right away, and thus we – phone in hand – started looking around to find a quiet spot where we could have a phone conversation.

That was not possible. Every store had music blasting, and every coffee shop had espresso machines growling at us. We were looking for indoor places because, you see, the street in Vegas features loudspeakers playing festive swing music. Yes – on the street.

The city of Las Vegas has simply decided to add a soundtrack to your life – every second of it. And it may be an alluring thought to have your life at all times accompanied by swing music, but I can tell you that, after 26 hours, it does get tiresome.

But hey, that is Vegas. Party! Entertainment! Or, as you start referring to it as you get older: noise.

Coming back home, I started to notice the wallpaper of sounds we face on a daily basis. The ever-growing traffic, the accidental helicopter, construction work, the beeping from reversing trucks, loud music from passing cars, car alarms, ringing phones and people talking on them.

Even in the private sphere, we are met with this tapestry of modern-life sounds. Kids playing video games. The TV is on. The blender, the dishwasher. That is in your own home – then there are other people in surrounding homes. People who have leaf blowers!

Why are people with leaf blowers always oddly enthusiastic about using them? What is the deal with leaf blowers, anyway? “Look! I’m blowing these leaves over on this side of the street.” What are you, wind?

And why – why – would you assume that the leaves that look messy on your side of the street would look any less messy when they land on my side of the street?

So that is it. I am heading back to Vegas. If my life must have an ongoing soundtrack, I prefer swing music over random traffic and leaf blowers. Plus, I might get a bit of quiet time on the plane.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine Ltd.’

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