I have been enjoying the quiet of my guesthouse room the last two days. It’s so quiet. The fan from the air-con (air-con!), the hum of the refridgerator. I’m staying in luxury! Well – relative luxury. The most luxurious thing about it is that it is quiet.

I came to Chiang Mai on Wednesday, on a quick trip, for an appointment I had yesterday afternoon. It’s so strange and nice to stay in a guesthouse that is quiet. You might think village life is quiet and peaceful and there certainly are those moments (maybe for a few hours in the late evening) but most of the time there are a lot of noises going on. Roosters begin crowing in the wee hours (and I’m talking wee) of the morning and don’t cease until early evening. Hens cluck outside my bedroom window and make their own loud noises. Then there are the frogs that have come alive again as the weather’s warming up. They drone at a pitch that is neither high, nor low, just annoying. They badly sing for however long they please. During the hours of about 5am-7pm my neighbours go about their days – making food, talking, yelling, going off on motorbikes, pounding their laundry (yes, pounding), chopping wood and so on.

The hardest thing is that there doesn’t seem to be relief from this noise for me. It’s ridiculous really. I never would’ve thought how much I actually need some peace and quiet every day. I’m not exactly sure how to solve this noise problem. I can’t kill off the chickens (the thought has crossed my mind several times, I’ll admit) and hearing my neighbours talking all the time is actually a very good thing as far as language learning. So… I don’t know what the solution is. Ear plugs are becoming very useful at night, that’s for sure. I know that I’m enjoying the quiet I’ve found in Chiang Mai though. That statement in itself is a contradiction. Quiet in Chiang Mai indeed.

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