As a child I could do a lot of things: washing up, taking out the waste, cleaning the bathroom, washing, cleaning the floor, dusting. The only thing I avoided was vacuum cleaning and in the end always swapped with my father.
He found vacuum cleaning meditative, I found it unbearable. The reason was the noise that accompanied the act of vacuum cleaning. I can’t explain why, but, when I switched on, all my tiny hairs stood on end like an army preparing to defend itself. Unfortunately in the 80’s of the last century fitted carpets were all the rage. In my room in red!. Every crumb, every hair stood out on the carpet like an iceberg. Unavoidable the agony of the weekly vacuum cleaning.
After I left home, carpets have disappeared from my life. Then one can survive even without a vacuum cleaner. But the sources of the disturbing noise have not completely disappeared. There are those that are very unpleasant and scarcely tolerable and there are those that occur briefly and unexpectedly and scare you almost to death. The former one can systematically avoid, the latter one must try to ignore. No, that doesn’t really work, but you have to keep trying.
For example in my car, when the outside temperature is 3 degrees, an earsplitting signal sounds. In vain I tried to switch this function off. But then the garage explained that it is a requirement of the manufacturer and it is not possible to switch it off. It is intended to draw the attention of the driver to difficult driving conditions. I suppose that the manufacturer treats the fact that every time I flinch and have to take care not to cause an accident as being collateral damage to his well intentioned accident avoidance measure.
Another noise obstacle awaits me in many public toilets. The hand towels are being replaced by noisy hand dryers. I hear the noise of the blowers increase, remember my childhood and the vacuum cleaner and prefer to leave my hands wet. That’s also a possibility.
The city of Zürich has just announced that all the hand towels in the public toilets are being replaced by Dyson hand dryers. Perhaps it won’t be long before in our showers we dry our whole bodies with such blowers. Perhaps its more ecological, economic and efficient. As long as it is accompanied by the irritating noise, I’ll try to avoid them. Not washing is not an option. So look out: the next time we meet, perhaps I’ll greet you with wet hands. But don’t worry, it will only be water!!
Image source: Andreas Hermsdorf / pixelio.de