A Regensburg Morning

Editor’s note:  This post was inspired by the Daily Post’s one-word writing prompt:  Morning.

For almost three years, I woke up to the same set of sounds.  Morning in Regensburg was predictable, and my bedroom window looked over a fairly busy residential street just outside the city center.   Many students for the local university lived just a few buildings down the street.  With no air conditioning, I left the window cracked open almost every night.

Around 4:30 or 5:00 Am, the street sweeper would come by.   By 6, the garbage truck would roll past, and the pedestrians would start their commute,  hard soled shoes clicking on the sidewalk.

Some of the people would pull little wheeled suitcases behind them.  The rhythmic clack-clack-clack of their rubber wheels meeting the sidewalk seams became very soothing to me.  To this day, that sound makes me sleepy.

In winter, the sounds were basically the same, but the street sweeper would be a snow plow, and the footsteps would often be muffled by freshly fallen snow.

My sounds in the morning now are more muted.  The weather in South Florida is too hot, too humid to sleep comfortably with the window open.   We never have Winter here, and cool air is only felt two or three months out of the year.  It’s almost never cool enough to sleep with the window open.

My apartment now is far enough away from most traffic that I only hear a passing vehicle if it’s extremely large or has artificially amplified mufflers.  People do that in South Florida, making their tiny economical cars sound like angry racing dragons.  I don’t really understand the motivation.

It’s quieter, sure, but sometimes it’s a little too quiet.  I’ve taken to running a small fan in the room just to produce some white noise.  I think I sleep better here than I did there, because I don’t hear every street sweeper, every drunken student singing through the streets as they come back from the bars in the Altstadt at three in the morning.

I miss the rolling suitcases, though.

Do you sleep with your windows open?


5 thoughts on “A Regensburg Morning

  1. Because we live on a busy road, the traffic noise never ends. To block it out during the day, I use a fan/air conditioner in the summer and a fan/sound machine in the winter. That said, I love hearing the snow plows drive by; I find their noise amidst the silence of snow to be comforting.


  2. Used to, in the summer. When we lived in Stadtamhof (an island neighborhood in the middle of the Danube), you could count on cool air late at night to come in and help the sleeping. But seemingly every morning between 4 and 4:30 a car would come around park outside our window and a woman would get out and … I don’t know distribute junk mail or something. And a bored, disabled senior citizen across the street would engage her from across the street. More than once others on our block politely shouted out their open bedroom windows at them to STFU. Glad it was not me.

    A few times we giggled along at the thumps and shrieks from some vigorous horizontal aerobics happening in our building or across the way.

    But now that we’ve moved to your old neighborhood, and are behind a gated entry in a small maze of nuclear families with underground parking, I expect the street sounds — when it’s warm enough to keep the windows open again — to be drastically reduced. That’s also because everyone around here drops their Jalousien at nightfall; that blocks any noise leaks from other buildings, too.


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