Speaking from inside the soundscape

Presented at Hör Upp! Stockholm Hey Listen!
Conference on Acoustic Ecology, June 8-13, 1998

I was sitting in the train to Stockholm. I had a Eurailpass, so I could travel first class. Within ten minutes after the train’s departure the businessmen around me (I was the only woman) started to make calls on their cell phones. Since I wanted to do some work I got very irritated. I got up and said to the two gentlemen closest to me, «Excuse me, but is this an office or a train?» One of them answered, «If you don’t want to listen to our phonecalls there is a room you can go to», and he pointed to the back of the car. I answered, «I don’t feel I should have to move, as this is my reserved seat. Perhaps those who make phonecalls should go to that room». We were both agitated. He then said that if two people were having a conversation near me they would talk just as loudly, and I said, «No, in my experience people who are on the phone speak much more loudly». He said that that was not his experience and besides he had not really wanted to talk to me this morning.

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