Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Driven to Drink

Anyone who has ever visited a predominantly Muslim country will have heard the calls to prayer that start at some ungodly hour in the morning and carry on through the day at intervals. Ive always resented being woken by these calls, quite apart from not being a Muslim,  but especially because, as in several countries where Ive endured them in the early morning, not only are they are amplified and horribly distorted by loudspeaker to reach way beyond their traditional range, but they are usually recordings rather than live. In fact the Immam and local muslims probably sleep through the racket, much as people living near railway tracks eventually don’t notice trains thundering by in the night, and the people disturbed by it are visitors and non muslims for whom the calls are irrelevant.

Here in Motta there are several Mosques and they do indeed broadcast their calls to prayer, and they are bearable. However, something I had not come across before is similar broadcasts from the several Christian churches in Motta, and these are absolutey horrible. The Muslim calls last ten or fifteen minutes but the Orthodox Christian ones go on literally for hours every Saturday night and on various other  “Holy Days” and believe me there are way too many of them. The monotonous wailing and howling in three unmusical, irrythmical semitones utterly ruins a lovely peaceful afternoon and sometimes goes on all night. Every so often theres a short break and I always fall into the trap of saying to myself “Thank God its finally finished” at which exact moment it starts up again - I don’t know how anyone puts up with it. I lie awake dreaming about a gun and blasting the hell out of the loudspeakers, and the tape recorders, and …well no I wouldn’t shoot the orthodox priest but maybe a few shots into the dust to get him fleeing down the road to Bahar Dar would be satisfying. I am sure no self respecting God would permit such an abomination to be performed in His name : ipso facto, there cannot be one! But oh the relief when it finally stops....

Whatever was wrong with a few nice church bells on a Sunday morning?

1 comment:

  1. a few nice church bells on sunday????
    here in berlin on sunday morning the bells begin with electronic tunelessness at 8 am and then punctuate the day...its not unendurable but it IS annoying if youre sleeping...this is after all a xtian country!