Sounds of the City

  • the slurping of noodles at lunch
  • the chewing of deok, Korean rice cakes
  • the clicking of high heels on the floor and sidewalks
  • the burping that interrupts conversation (not followed by any sort of "excuse me")
  • the rumbling of an approaching subway train
  • the honking of impatient cars on the busy streets
  • the whirring of a motobike as it passes you on the subway
  • the smacking of a wooden stick against a student's skin
  • the monotone, muffled sales pitches heard on the loudspeakers of pickup trucks with bundles of fruit driving slowly by
  • the quick-talking, microphone-happy salespeople on the sidewalks outside of their stores
  • the quiet radios of blind people as they walk slowly down the length of the subway trains
  • the horking and spitting anywhere and everywhere, by Koreans young and old
  • the conversations in Korean that you don't understand
  • the classical music/chirping birds that signals the next transfer station on the subway is approaching
  • the greetings each and every time you enter a store or restaurant
  • the funny K-pop or English pop song ringtones on cellphones (like Wonder Girls' "Tell Me" ringing on a businessman's cellphone)
  • the loud K-pop or English pop songs blasting from stores onto the sidewalk
  • the robotic instructions from navigation systems in taxis
  • the "Hello! How are you?"s from young school children that follow me down the street