I’ve been told that watching planes take off can be an entertaining way to pass a few hours. You sit in the airport (although these days not very far ‘in’), listen to the roar of the engines, watch the wheels start spinning and find yourself staring at a disappearing dot in the sky. The same thing happens over and over again as plane after plane soars into the air in an endless stream. I imagine the redundancy would become methodical, relaxing, trance-inducing and alluring for someone who wanted to step away from reality and clear his mind for a few hours. However for those who live on the cusp of an airport, the ever-present metallic beasts are anything but calming.
There is an incessant flood of traffic overwhelming the neighborhoods. Travelers make wrong turns attempting to find their destination, idling on the streets as they stare blankly at decaying and outdated maps. Holidays are jammed as grandparents fly to grandchildren, daughters return to mothers and brothers race to siblings. The resulting headlights, as each motors to the airport, is enough to keep you awake well past bedtime, and when you take into account the planes’ lights, you never sleep. Already, you are ruing the day that you bought the house, so cheap and so convenient for travel, and then another plane takes off. The noise is distinct, clear. Before it has time to fade, your lament quickly becomes a tirade.
Your ears are constantly plagued with the roar of jet engines. Even when you are away from home, you hear the ignition, the takeoff, the landing. Each aspect of flight sounds slightly different, and you, as an airport expert, can identify the subtle variations in them all. It is enough to drive you up a wall or at the very least your blood pressure. Studies have proven that living near an airport can increase the risk of high blood pressure by almost 20 percent, particularly when the noise exposure surpasses 50 decibels a day, and you are living proof.
The only solution you can think of is to pack your bags and move. You don’t need another reason for your blood pressure to spike, so you will go to a quiet place, away from noise pollution and as far as possible from planes. You will be happy, healthy and calm in the silence . . .
If only that place existed. Noise pollution doesn’t just stem from airports. It is a result of cars, trains, industries, clubs, restaurants and almost everything else common in society. A constant exposure is going to affect you. If it stresses you out, it’s going to raise your blood pressure. So, rather than search for the idyllic, serene and all-too make-believe world of tranquility, find ways to cope with the noise. Invest in ear plugs so that you can sleep at night. Meditate so that you are naturally calmer and learn to live with the engines so that the only things elevating are the planes.
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