The lady apologised and as she settled back another pear hit Qingdao Vacations me. So I got up and re-tied the bag, feeling more fortunate than Qingdao Vacations the man who’d been hit on the head by a falling metal water-bottle. There were several other foreigners on the bus; they were younger than those I’d met in the north-west of China, more like hippy-trail people extending their trip of the Far East to take in a taste of China. A student couple sat in the front seat, she on his lap, kissing and cuddling each other. It was a shame that they couldn’t see what embarrassment this caused all around the bus, not only to the Chinese, who were shocked, but also to their fellow foreigners. As for me, I felt angry about it, because foreign women in China are well respected, but if local people see this kind of example they start getting funny ideas about us.
Such efforts to obfuscate the sounds of the city can deterritorialize sense of place as people transport themselves into a sonic bubble of music or podcasts. However, this is not straightforward. As people move through city spaces – whether on foot or in cars – they do not entirely exist in a sonic envelope. Dialogues occur between recorded music and real-time sounds, which can transform perceptions of place. This can be either an arbitrary relationship or a deliberate choice to listen to specific music for a particular space. Rogues’ Gallery also provide an important conduit for understanding how space can be produced and imaginatively conceived through sonic experiences. They use noise as a signifier to create enhanced encounters with driving, the city and mobility.
Their work can be located as part of the emerging area of mobility studies (Cresswell 2011; Urry 2007) that considers how space, materiality and subjectivity are being reconfigured in everyday experiences of urban mobility. This field is situated in the context of studies in the processes of globalization which seek flexible and complex definitions on the experience of place (Massey 1994) and mobility in relation to urban spaces, particularly taking into account embodied experience. Understanding of localized place continues to be important in the global context, but how it is experienced and understood requires new frameworks for analysis that acknowledge this mobility (Cresswell and Merriman 2010). For example, while the car is a globalized technology and common experiences can be identified, driving behaviour and experiences are diverse and localized (Miller 2001). Travelling in a car is a highly located practice (Merriman 2004; Edensor 2003), which counters ideas of the placelessness of motorways in the contemporary global environment of travel (Auge 1995; Relph 1976).