Whenever I travel overseas, it usually takes a few nights to get into any semblance of a sleeping routine. Given the rough trip over here and battling some sort of illness the first few days, it’s taken longer than normal. The first few nights I was knocked out by 9PM but waking up at 2:30AM and unable to fall back asleep. Every night my goal was to wake up later than the previous day. Anyone who’s traveled can probably relate to what I’m describing.
However, the transition into finding a good night’s rest over here has been made much more difficult when there are numerous, seemingly unnecessary noises in the night. For example, every night I can hear a series of shrill whistles. It happens every evening so I started listening for a pattern. The only pattern I found is that it wakes me up a different time in the middle of the night. Another noise I hear, usually right before going to sleep, is metal clanging against metal – like construction work is being done…at 11PM! Strangely enough, the noise can’t be heard at all during the day. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to complete construction work during daylight hours?
And then there are the various voices and knocks. In the middle of the night (have you picked up on a common theme here?), I can hear someone calling something out loud – as if he’s either lost and looking for help or as if he’s looking for someone. Not surprisingly, no one answers him, but he continues to call out repeatedly anyway. I wish I understood the language so I could help him (and more importantly so I could eliminate one more interruption in my sleep!) The daily Laundry Man is yet another disturbance . He is the most slick of all, managing to make his rounds and knock on every door at a seemingly early hour. Breakfast doesn’t begin until 7:30AM, and it seems as if Laundry Man has taken it upon himself to also serve as our alarm clock. It’s not a gentle knock either – it’s more of a loud, desperate knock which might make you think it’s an emergency. The first morning this happened, my roommate answered the door (at 6:00AM) and was half-asleep as she told Laundry Man we had nothing for him. We’ve quickly learned to ignore that early morning knock, and we’ve been able to squeeze a bit more sleep out of the mornings as a result.
High-pitched whistles, late night construction, lost individuals, and a sunrise Laundry Man. The noises of the night will serve as a challenge as I continue to seek a full night’s sleep.