Sunday, October 7, 2007

Music in the Air

Classes finally started today (though my first class won't be till Wednesday), and the campus is beginning to look less sterile now that there are more than a handful of students about (although it still seems underpopulated considering how large I'm told the student body is; they might be staying indoors avoiding the heat, like me).

This morning I was awakened at 7 (actually, I was already awake but trying to doze) by music that was being blasted across the entire campus by speakers located in virtually every nook and cranny of the grounds (somehow I hadn't noticed them before, but once I was made aware of their presence I couldn't help but see them everywhere). Most of the selections were saccharine-sounding Chinese pop music, but we were also treated to a rather martial arrangement of“El Condor Pasa”and a jaunty rendition of Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," both with lyrics in Mandarin. It made me flash back on a similar treatment of American pop songs in M*A*S*H (which, coincidentially, I watched on my flight back from Beijing last summer). The final selection was a solemn version of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic”(ditto Mandarian) at around 8, which came as a huge relief, since I was scared the enforced concert—far too loud to ignore—would be going on all day.

Here's one of the fairly unobtrusive speakers that are scattered around the grounds—and as this demonstrates, I decided not to wait for C***o's arrival next week to tackle the photo challenge. Expect more such visuals to spice up future entries.


jiejie said...

Hi Gordon,

That happened to us once, too, "music in the air", I mean. But it was late one Friday afternoon, and so was a pleasant surprise. But in China, you always have to sleep early, because you never know where noise is going to come from the next morning, be it music from loud speakers, or drilling and hammering right upstairs.

I can't believe it's still hot and humid there. I should let my mom know, so she comes prepared!

Fon said...
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Fon said...
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Fon said...

That reminds me of when I was in Kindergarten in China. They used to force us into a courtyard before classes start and we would have to exercise to loud obnoxious music. Perhaps that is China's replacement for no coffee in the morning.

Now if you ever question about why my mom falls asleep and wakes up early everyday, just consider after years of conditioning anybody maybe the same way.

Sorry about my reposts, having some problems with my internet