Ah summer. Break out the sandals, short skirts, popsicles, and salad for dinner. The windows are open, secured with metal hooks to keep the cross breeze from banging them shut. And suddenly there's a whole new level of sound in our third floor apartment, at all hours of day and night.
Motorcycles and scooters speeding by.
The sound of the pompiers leaving their station (about two blocks away), sirens blaring as they head off to a call.
The hum of traffic -- cars, buses, trucks -- coming from the busy avenue at the top of the block.
The scrape of the street sweepers' plastic brooms as they move the debris through the gutters.
A baby crying in the building across the street.
The beep beep beep of the garbage truck and the crashing sound as the glass recycling bin is emptied.
Whoops and horns honking in the distance as someone's favorite team advances in the World Cup.
Some crazed fool screaming at the top of his lungs.
Rap music with a heavy bass coming from someone's car radio.
Wine-fueled voices of revelry from the crowd on the terrace of the bar on the corner.
Snatches of conversation from folks walking by.
Kids playing soccer in the courtyard.
Oh yeah, it's charming all right. Now could all you people please pipe down so I can get some sleep?