This place is something else. Where else can you be woken at 7am by the sound of several thousand firecrackers going off or aerial shells being fired and nobody seems to turn a head?
I wanted to capture a few audio snippets and so here they are: Descriptions of the Liuyang soundscape.
Wandering around Liuyang, it soon becomes apparent that the common city sounds differ slightly from those in the UK. Apart from the obvious language differences, above the vehicle sounds, horns and general hustle-bustle of city life is the continuous sound of fireworks; sometimes in the distance and sometimes right in front of you.
Of particular note, is the experience at sunset in the surrounding hills, where most of the factories are. You might expect to hear the birds roosting and maybe spot a few bats? Not here. That’s when the serious batch testing gets underway at the larger firework factories. The thump-thump of shells going off every few seconds in adjacent valleys and beyond is rather unique.
The thing that has really struck me is the perceived normality of it all. Local residents appear to think nothing of a 100-shot noisy firework being let off on the pavement in the city centre next to a road. If you are lucky, then they stop to watch. Otherwise, people drive and cycle past; they continue with their normal everyday lives.