A Tale of Two Slumber Zones

Originally published here on Tuesday, October 22, 2013

East Rockaway is like Korea: no alarm clocks required. We have garbage men. They don’t holler, like the sudden parkside drunks in Kyounggi doe who in their melancholy suddenly rocket your heart into your throat with their middle-of-the-night blood curdling shotgun screams of anguish, but they have elephant-like whining hydraulic trash compactors on their monster garbage trucks.

There are no break-of-dawn jack hammers that sound like a parade of angry elephants, and no platoons of Samsung employees shouting out their numbered calisthenics in marine corps fashion, like in Suwon, but there are interstate-ready, stereophonic, heart-attack-inducing fire sirens that sound like Godzilla. And there are buzzers that sound like what I imagine the ones sound blasting their warnings before rockets take off at the launch sites round Cape Canaveral.

And, there are no people making as much noise as possible with banging heels and slamming doors — such as I experienced in almost every building I tried to sleep in in “The Land of The Morning Calm”, but of course, there are the (usually charming, but not at six AM) backyard railroad trains that sound like 747s erupting through the morning quiet ‘back of the house, complete with their bells, and whistles. And there is the explosive morning sunshine.

But it’s all right. I’m home. For now, anyway….

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