October 28, 2008

Romanian Garbage Truck Car Alarms
Apoldu de Sus, Romania

We all know the default car alarm sound that came out of the 90s— that classic ditty that rotates like five different alarm sounds into one singular annoyance. This morning I found it rather odd to be hearing this lovely number cutting through the early morning silence in our part of this little village. Laying in bed, rolling my eyes, I wished silently that someone would turn the damn thing off already, while pondering how such things found their way to this little corner of Romania.

And then I started wondering if the sound was getting louder. Yes, it most certainly was, slowly.

My first thoughts were that someone was driving a stolen car and couldn't be bothered to disable the speaker, and as the intensity drew closer, my curiosity was peaked enough to crawl over to the window and have a look.

You could imagine my surprise when I found myself looking at a garbage truck, slowly crawling down the dirt and stone road outside the home. Later, Stephan asked if I'd heard the garbage truck's choice of melody. Rather perplexed, I asked him to fill me in.

Amazingly, he'd heard it not in just this village, but another (presumably not the same truck). They make all the ruckus because they'll show up on the same day each week (though not every week with any frequency), but the time can fluctuate wildly (sometimes early morning, others in the late evening). Stephan asked around, and apparently it's the driver's way of letting residents know that he was coming, and for some strange reason, thought the sound was cool.

Yeah buddy, that's a hot beat you got there. I can't imagine anyone listening to that noise for hours and hours on end by choice.

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