Friday, November 4, 2011

Indie Travel - Music

The topic for yesterday's BootsnAll project is about music. I have to admit up front this is a tough one for me. While I love live music (see previous posts about Tent On Wheels and a trip to a music festival) I don't like to have music "on" all the time. I don't travel down the road bawling to the latest C/W broken heart tune, or weaving back in forth in rhythm to a reggae beat. I can't tell you the band's name for any song. I'm not good at memorizing lyrics, half the time I can't even tell what words are being sung. I prefer really listening to music, or silence. It drives other people crazy but I don't usually have someone else with me. I prefer conversation if I have a passenger and find it hard to have a conversation when there is also music I want to hear.

So how does music tie into travel? Are there tunes that remind me of some particular place in the world?

Well, yes. Bollywood music reminds me of India. Duh.

But a very specific instant on a visit to India. I had arrived in Delhi well after midnight and been whisked off to a friend's house where everyone was already asleep. My body-clock was off by 12 hours. It wasn't 2am, it was 2 in the afternoon for me. After tossing and turning for an eternity, I woke up to loud Bollywood music coming from outside and an animal glued to the ceiling staring at me with huge rotating eyes. My hosts were startled to hear screaming from the bedroom.

The animal was a house gecko, revered for their ability to keep the insect population under control. The music was coming from a walled courtyard next door. Our balcony had a view onto a muddy yard where women were busy getting breakfast; milk from a buffalo cow, pots with dal over smoky manure-patty fires. A long brown extension cord powered a shiny silver boom box mounted high on a shelf.

I thought the loud music was a rude awakening, but was informed that withholding music, if you can afford a boom box is considered the height of selfishness. Their loud music was the very opposite of rude. What a lesson in sharing!


30 Days of Indie Travel