Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Friday, April 30, 2010

International Day Against Noise

I didn't hear about this till it was too late. April 28th was the International Day Against Noise

The organisers of the day were very upset about the noise levels in Spain. They say that Spain is the second noisiest country in the World, after Japan.

I've heard that statistic before, in fact I've quoted it to Spaniards when we've been laughing about the noise levels in some Spanish bar or other. I wonder though how and where you measure noise levels? Is the noise level in a country, say Spain, made up of averaging out the noise levels in the centre of Madrid and atop Mulhacen or do only places with at least so much noise count?

It is absolutely true that Spanish people know how to make plenty of noise. Keeping quiet does not come easily or naturally to them. Their mopeds can be heard for miles. Their discussions about the qualities of this or that recipe carry through the walls of most flats. On the other hand I have often parked up somewhere to take a photo or to simply stare into the haze of a summer's day and been struck by the almost absolute silence of Spain - humming insects or the noises of the countryside toasting maybe but no human activity save my own.

Maybe those International Noise people should get out of town more often.

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