Walking home from my yoga class* last night, I was really struck by how quiet it always is in my neighbourhood. Not in an eerie or dull way – it’s just sort of… peaceful. Morning, noon or night, weekend or working day, neither people nor vehicles have notably disrupted the calm at any point since I moved in almost two months ago.
Pretty remarkable really, given that I live in one of the largest capital cities in Europe. And it’s not like my apartment is in some remote suburb beyond the periphery of ‘actual’ Paris, either; I mean, I can walk to the flipping Eiffel Tower in under thirty minutes. That’s quite central.
The very short rue on which I live also intersects a MUCH longer main road – the kind that one might expect to produce a lot of noise pollution. But no. If I’m in my apartment in the evening, when the record player isn’t playing and the TV is off, I can enjoy total, uninterrupted silence, should I so choose. I very rarely hear my neighbours at all (although someone was definitely enjoying a soiree of some description last weekend) and there is never a peep from that main road, or any others for that matter.
It isn’t even this devoid of audial disturbance in my very small hometown, which is located in a particularly rural part of England. Walk less than five minutes from my mum’s house and you’re entirely likely to find yourself choking on the fumes of an enormous queue of vehicles of all shapes and sizes, using our town as a bypass because – shock – the M6 is closed/gridlocked/otherwise failing to function as the very important motorway that it is, again. Such a queue is not a quiet beast.
I’m most certainly not complaining. (About Paris – the situation in my hometown is really annoying). It’s lovely. It’s just so unexpected. And equally unexpected is how safe I feel walking around the same neighbourhood. I’d made several trips out on my own quite late at night before it occurred to me that maybe I should be feeling more wary: lone female, big city, etc. But even that thought didn’t erode my sense of security and serenity as I made my way home.
One yoga class and I’m already writing about ‘serenity’. Good grief.
* Hope your New Year’s Resolutions are going as well as mine… not to be smug, or anything.