Life in a big city has lots of benefits: the sheer amount of things to do; the diversity of its inhabitants; and the fact that you'll never get tired of exploring. But it also has one major drawback: noise.
I live in a row of Victorian terraces that backs onto another row of Victoria terraces, parallel to ours, with only small gardens in the middle. This means we have a perfect conduit for all the sounds of the neighbourhood to travel, ricochet and echo their way up and down the red-bricked exteriors of the buildings, straight to my ears.
There's the neighbour who lets his dog out three times a day to bark, endlessly, at God knows what. There's the American couple who live somewhere nearby, having a BBQ in their courtyard. The family torturing their children with French lessons; the birthday party with 50 screaming kids; the graduation do where for some reason, they just couldn't seem to stop playing Deacon Blue... and on, and on.
It's interesting, these slices of life that seep through our window. It heightens the feeling that we live in a community, that there's people around us, even if I still don't know them after five years of living here! The mingling of accents, of customs and traditions, is right there -- we don't even need to leave our flat.
I could do without the barking dog, though.