back on topic please…
Background noise does have a lot to do with how loud people speak here. You have to shout to make yourself heard.
Besides, it’s not “noisy”, it’s “re4 nao4”. Get it right!
Noisy and bright keeps the ghosts away.
I thought Zhong Kui kept the ghosts away.
I actually had a conversation with my dad about this. I have always needed quiet atmospheres since I was a child. I’d hide in my room and read all day to escape from the insane noise. When I went back to TW a few months ago, I realized that I was in trouble. I was fine when I was home alone or at my grandma’s house, but when I went anywhere or spent time with my father’side of family…oh God help me help me. One day, when my dad was chatting with his mom (my paternal grandmother,) I finally asked him why he needed to be so loud. (Seriously, I went into another room to read and I could still hear them.) He explained to me that since the environment was so loud that they felt the need to speak louder and it became a habit. My dad and grandma were so sweet though; they tried to lower their volume to make me feel better. I was really grateful, and thought it was hilarious that they just couldn’t keep it down no matter what.
When I went out to coffee shops, I had to ask, many times, for the servers if they could possibily turn down the music. (Why, why do you play pop music in a lovely, wonderful, beautiful cafe?) They were very nice and almost always did so. Unfortunately, I didn’t know who to ask to turn down the volume when I was walking down the street…I couldn’t possibly ask every store owner. (Why? Why the need to pump up the music so? Is traffic not loud enough for your taste? I was annoyed at times.)
Back in the States here, I generally feel like quiet is more available unless I go out to certain places. (Then again, I stayed at home a lot when I was in Taipei, too, just to have some quietness around me. As long as I didn’t go out. I was okay.) Last week I went to have a birthday dinner at an Italian restaurant, and lord, I had to go out and buy some painkillers to help me through dinner. The noise level was incredibly. I was in hell.
In general, quiet is just not that possible sometimes. I fight for it! (or hide for it, more likely.)
Yikes. Big cities don’t seem to inspire people to be quiet. How unfortunate.
I live on the top of a mountain to escape the noise. I only have a few neighbors putting the karaoke machine on once in a while, and my 2 girls to scream back and forth in best taiwanese fashion.
You grow used to it.