The Noise In The House
Was Deafening At Times, Especially In The Evening, When All Come Home
From Working In Their "Padi" Fields, Where The Women Are Supposed To
Do Most Of The Work, The Men Generally Going Hunting.
hum of conversation and loud laughter, with the noise made by the
pigs and chickens under the house, the dogs and chickens in the house,
and the beating of deep-toned gongs at times nearly drove me frantic,
especially when I was writing.
They resembled a lot of small children and would beat their gongs
simply to amuse themselves. Very often a Dayak, on returning from
his work or a hunt in the jungle, would walk straight up to a large
gong that was hanging up and hammer on it for a few minutes in a most
businesslike way, looking all the time as if it bored him. Then he
would walk away in much the same way as a man would leave the telephone
(as if he had just got through some business). I suppose it soothed
them after their day's work, but it irritated me.
The Dayak dogs are fearful and wonderful animals, both as regards
shape and colour, and I could get very little sleep on account of
the noise they made; yet the Dayaks seemed to sleep through it all.
One night I woke up after a particularly noisy fight, and saw what
appeared to me to be a dog sitting calmly by my bed with its back
turned to me.
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