9 January 2013

One Day. Chat me up

He doesn't mind chatting in the pool... Long distance call to Antarctica?

After 3 years of studying in Brisbane and living on the Gold Coast I guess you could say I’m a bit of a public transport aficionado. Over my degree I have spent an estimated 690 hours on public transport - that’s 28 days of my life I won’t get back! During this time I’ve had plenty of opportunity to ponder the transport system, the people on it and their (and my own) behaviour. Needless to say, several hours each week sitting on a rock hard seat, being squished by the person next to you does not work wonders for the psyche. Which got me to thinking, why is it so awkward to have a conversation on your cell phone whilst you are on public transport? (Or am I the only one who thinks like this?)

Whenever my phone rings whilst I’m on the train I inwardly cringe and I can’t figure out why! I like talking on the phone, I enjoy chatting to family and friends but when it happens on the train I feel like I would rather stick a fork in my eyeball then to have a 5minute chat with my nearest and dearest. I’m sure that if I were actually sitting next to the person on the other end of the line I would be more than happy to discuss my weekend aloud, but on the phone, oh no, I sit there speaking in hushed, whispered tones as though I’m divulging a particularly personal secret instead of simply saying that I went to the movies Saturday night. Perhaps I’m worried my conversation will get lost in translation with any eaves-droppers. I guess I think if they heard two people talking they would follow the story but because they can only hear me, what I’m actually saying could transform into all manner of things.

For example, I say – Saturday was great, we were at it all night, my body is so sore today. Eaves-dropper translation = something sexual. Actual meaning = It was a great night spent dancing.

It seems not everyone suffers from my phone-train paranoia because there is always someone (usually with a particularly nasally voice) who loves to chat on their mobile at the top of their lungs for the entire hour trip. I have a love-hate relationship with these people: if their conversation is interesting I love the distraction, but most of the time the droning of their voice just gets damn annoying somewhere around Loganlea.

Whatever it is, I guess I don’t need to worry anymore because my degree is officially finished and I’m sworn off public transport for life. You are now free to call me [maybe].

Photo by Ucumari.