It’s 5:43 am — let the jackhammering begin

Seasons are a funny thing. Probably in much of the urbanized western world, Spring and Summer mean the orange barrels of construction. That’s the case here too — all kinds of intersections are getting congested around town due to the zillion construction projects that have popped up. I think most people have come to expect it, and that includes the growing number of commuters on their bikes as well.

But what I don’t get is why it has to start before dawn. There are noise regulations all around here. For instance, it is printed in unmistakable letters on a placard on the giant glass recycling collection containers that they are not to be used before 8:00 am or after 8:00 pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and not at all on Sundays and holidays. If I can’t chuck *just one* glass bottle into the bin before 8:00 am on a workday, how come the truck that comes around to empty the bins does its thing at 6:45 in the morning? Have you ever heard several thousand glass bottles breaking at one time inside a steel truck bed? That has always seemed out-of-whack to me and Sarah, but OK, whatever — we can live with that.

Street construction before dawn on our street is another story. Let’s also remember a few things about Germany: its energy costs are higher, its weather is generally milder, and its people are skinflintier than what we are used to (coming from the U.S.), and the bugs aren’t nearly as bad as in MIchigan. This boils down to a lot of open windows in town during the Spring and Summer. And it really is nice to have fresh air breezes (helps the laundry dry too — see my point above about energy costs and skinflintiness).

But how can they tolerate that chainsaw before dawn!? I don’t get it. Oh yeah, and dawn is at about 6:00 am today – Regensburg is a lot further north than you might think, so the seasonal daylight swing is much more drastic here. Even if dawn is at 6 am a full two months before the summer solstice, that’s still pretty darn early for construction racket during the otherwise peaceful wee hours of the morning. Usually the most noise we get then is gentle chirping from the birds.