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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Good outdoor sounds

Pebbles by the sea
Originally uploaded by
Sunshine follows me.
I really only discovered the joys of walking when I left Singapore. In the cool dry air, walking has become a great pleasure - not a sweaty enterprise. I began to take more notice of my surroundings, having been released from the controlled environment of motorised vehicles.

There are so many
good sounds that make me feel happy when I'm out walking - but to hear similar sounds at work effects an entirely different response.

1. "Crrrrrk Crrrk" This is the sound of walking on pebbles that have been worn smooth by the sea. This is also the sound of ancient knees bending and arthritic joints grinding together which always reminds me how transient youth is.

2. "Ffshh-t Ffshh-t" This is the sound of wading through crispy autumnal leaves that have gathered up in great piles on the ground. This is also the sound of a loud heart murmur, indicating a heart valve that is dysfunctional. It reminds me how fragile our bodies are.

3. "Chkrrk Chkrrk" This is the sound of crunching through snow that has been partially melted in the sun. It is also the sound of the inflamed layers of lung as they rub up against each other, usually causing a great deal of discomfort. It reminds me how sensitive we are to even the slightest changes.

4. "Plinksh plinksh" The sound of tiptoeing across a shallow stream in the woods that trickles coolly over large flat stones. This is the sound made by dangerously bloated intestines that are on the point of bursting. It reminds me not to judge people by their appearance alone but to listen to what they have to say (that is, "I'm not always this fat, you know!").

5."Wsshhhh" The sound of sliding across slippery wet concrete paving. This is the hollow sound that I hear in the chest of a person who is no longer breathing, whose heart has stopped beating. It is the sound of emptiness, and I am always struck by how loud it is.


Blogger ketsugi said...

Walking in Singapore really kinda sucks.

There's the heat and the humidity.

There's the car exhaust.

There's the cigarette smoke.

There's the cars trying to kill you.

There's the motorcycles who think they own the road.

And then there's the whole... ahh, screw it, I can't think of something to add on to make this finish off nicely.

8:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello..bloghopped my way here.anyway, i think you write really well, and i really look forward to reading your entries :)

take care!

3:25 pm  
Anonymous mrs budak said...

Actually, I enjoy walking in Singapore:

1) The air always has a heady mixture of smells: of incense, of hawker food, of the trees, of car exhaust, and so on.

2) The warm dampness of the evening air is somehow invigorating.

3) When you have breezes, oh man the feeling is wonderful (a respite from the heat?)

4) After it rains, the colours of the surroundings are wonderful. The trees and grass are greener, the flowers are brighter. And you can also smell the greenery!

5) After your walk, you can head for the nearest kopitiam for a teh-si before going home.

6:08 pm  
Blogger ampulets said...

your post brought back decade-old memories of the uk for me! :>

but must also agree with mrs budak! walking in singapore is a joy that you must not let the heat/humidity stop you from discovering.

plus there are also these other sounds walking in Singapore - the crunching on those dried up pods; and the accidental killing of snails - both sounds are somewhere in-between your walking on pebbles and autumnal leaves ;P

1:06 am  
Blogger tscd said...

ketsugi: I agree. I don't like the smell of exhaust.

mrs budak and ampulets: Yes, I agree that an evening stroll or early morning brisk walk can be very nice - but it's horrible to walk in the heat of the day. Over here, I can walk for 3-4 hours in the mid-afternoon and not sweat a drop.

anonymous bloghopper: Well, thanks for dropping by! It would be nice if you left a moniker so I can identify you when you come by again!

3:35 am  

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