New Loudspeaker

The big mosque next door to us got a new loudspeaker this week.  This means that instead of loud, the calls to prayer and general announcements are deafening, especially at four in the morning.  It is loud enough that it’s hard to watch TV; even with the sound turned way up, it just sounds like cacophony.  On the other hand, now we can tell what they are talking about when they make announcements.  For instance, the morning announcements (at 4:00 AM) start with "Bapak-bapak…ibu-ibu…sekarang waktu bangun…Bangun…Lebih baik bangun daripada tidur…Bangun…BANGUN…"  Which translates as "fathers…mothers…now it’s time to wake up…wake up…it’s better to wake up than to sleep…wake up…WAKE UP…"  After that there’s usually some sort of announcement about what’s going on that day.  Then the muezzin follows this with a very simple verse, sort of sung, sort of chanted, which he repeats for approximately six months.  OK, maybe only about 10 minutes.  This sounds like it’s in Arabic.  Then they do a prayer, which is also in Arabic, which they repeat a lot.  At which time we’ve had enough time to go to the bathroom, walk around, stare at the ceiling, and think about we hope it’s quieter in Malaysia.