Despite being in the middle of the Carnival celebrations, today I was finally able to enjoy my morning sleep.
The noisiness of a place is never apparent when you visit it to assess its potential as your home.
When I first arrived in Rio, back in November, I was living in a place I found horrible, dark, scary, full of wooden people and worse of all: on top of a popular restaurant and a rowdy bar!
My mornings started sometime after 7am, after being woken up by the sweet sounds of the cook at the restaurant chopping carrots for the day's dishes. They invariably finished with me going to sleep with earplugs on, trying to ignore the disgusting laughter of the drunken people downstairs.
Then I moved here. Yes, it is in the main street in the neighbourhood, hence there is traffic noise; but we are in a 24th floor after all...
Last year, we also lived in this same building for two months, and it was never a problem. It is true that we were facing the lake that time, so the traffic noise seemed somehow less.
The problem that time was that they were building right in front of my eyes the newest and chic-est shopping centres of Rio...banging and drilling...every day!
Now, the shopping centre is in full swing, offering me all its tempting goods -that usually I can't buy on my meagre grant- and PhD girl, who now has a flat in that side of the building can enjoy the placid and noiseless view of the lake and the shopping centre.
As for me - the ironies of life- there is a construction site right in front of my window!
Everyday, Sunday's excepted, the drilling, banging and screeching starts at 7am.
When I was in Vienna last year, I rented a big apartment with high ceilings and very well light, airy and cosy...it was in a slightly dodgy neighbourhood, but it was close to the parks and the river and it was cheap -I needed to save lots of money, for a certain wedding I was organising-.
After a few months of bliss, we were brutally awoke by the whole building shaking, as a result of some amazingly loud sound wave coming from the building in front, which had the misfortune to being demolished. The noise was huge...but it was compulsive watching. We witness how they carefully ripped the metal bits off, they removed bricks, knock down walls...
In the course of ten days, there was no building any more...
Luckily this time we left before the construction work started...
But maybe it was my fate to suffer with it, and one cannot escape their karma and here I am: watching the progress of the building in front.