Friday, August 20, 2010

Noise from where?

For some time now, I've been hearing music reverberate through my building at all times of day and night. Only the louder bass parts get through, but it's typically the boom-boom-boom type of beat that you hear in the bulk-purchased background music played in hair salons and trendy clothing boutiques.

It's not so much the sound that bothers me. What bothers me is that I cannot seem to localize it. I don't think it's coming from either of my immediate neighbors. It doesn't seem to be coming from an apartment in the hallway. And I can hear it well at some points, but not others. If I go outside the building, there's no noise, which is unlikely if there were an open window near the source of the music (as there is likely to be at this time of year). It's quite a mystery.

I do wish that whoever is playing it were interested in a wider variety of music—what I'm hearing now sounds like that kind of disposable pop music that no one will remember six months from today. And he or she must have some pretty substantial speakers, perhaps the massive kind of speakers favored by people who have had their hearing damaged by a massive kind of speaker.

Oh well, maybe I'll eventually figure out where it is coming from. It just started this summer, which implies a new tenant, or someone renting something for the summer (we'll see if it disappears in September).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is it the full moon?

A few days ago, while I was enjoying the cold air from the air conditioner, a bus rolled into the Seine River. Yup, that's right, a tour bus, parked at the Bateaux Parisiens (one of the excursion boat companies on the river, this one very near the Eiffel Tower), just rolled right off the parking lot and into the river. The bus was unoccupied, its load of Austrian tourists and driver being on the excursion boats. The driver swears he set the parking brake. Very strange, and a first in recent memory.

The parking lot is on a very gentle incline, but I'm still not clear on how the bus could get rolling like that, especially if the parking brake truly was set. I wonder what became of all the shopping bags and luggage that were probably stored in the bus. Oh well.

There's a video of the bus on YouTube, which you can see here.

That's not all, though. A few days after the bus rolled into the river, a barge going upriver sank. That, too, is a first in my experience. Here again, the crew claims not to have any idea why the barge sank, but my guess is that it was overloaded, as many of the barges tend to be. It was carrying sand, and it was probably loaded down all the way to the water line. A few waves probably washed over it from passing boats, and put some water into the sand, which of course made it heavier. From there on it would be a vicious circle, with the boat sinking deeper and deeper and taking on more and more water.

The moon was full during one of these days; maybe that had something to do with it. Lots of weird things seem to be happening lately.

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