Friday, October 3, 2014


The crickets chirp in the tall grass. I love their song, and in the evening as the sun sets and I’m walking through the park to my apartment, they keep me company.

The neighborhood cats sit on posts and in doorways to watch me as I make my way up the steps and down the street. I can hear the sounds of children playing as mothers make dinner. I smell garlic and curry wafting from the kitchens of my neighbors.

The family who lives across the ally has had three game nights since I’ve arrived. I hear the father laughing and calling out to his children. I hear his children laughing and calling back, and I wonder if they are playing a Japanese version of Yahtzee, probably not. All I know is that the joy I hear in their voices is authentic, and they have obviously turned off the TV and are enjoying each other’s company.

The family that lives across the ally and beside the “game night” family likes to sing. I hear their daughter who must be ten or so singing at the top of her lungs. Then her father joins in, and they sing together. It is one of the happiest sounds, and I always stop and listen, appreciating their relationship.

The two university students who live above me chant, and I hear their deep voices and the monotone rhythm of their practice. It’s hypnotic and relaxing. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday evening.

All the mundane, daily things that I take for granted at home become new, living in a foreign country. I love the chance to unplug and take in my surroundings, even as I fall into slumber each night listening to the crickets chirping outside my window.

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