Quiet Commutes

I started a new job two months ago, and it involves a two hour commute each way. Not ideal, but manageable for a while until I make other arrangements. A large part of the journey is on Sydney trains, and my general level of irritation has increased significantly. If its not people eating loudly and making those smacky saliva sounds and rustling their food wrappers, it’s people incessantly sniffing…. to the point that I get up and hand them a tissue. Must I carry tissues to supply to the moronic masses? Then it is people speaking on their phones or having loud conversations with their mates. The worst of them all is the recent assumption by some ignorant or inconsiderate members of the community, that playing music or videos on their phone without earphones is somehow acceptable. It absolutely is NOT. I don’t care how low you put the sound (and some don’t even bother to do that)…. I can still hear it and it fuels my anger.

I have tried various avoidance techniques, such as moving carriages, yet in most carriages you find someone abusing the common silence for their own entertainment with a smug sense of entitlement. I have tried the first and last carriage, as when you travel on intercity trains these are silent carriages (a concept that requires someone to monitor it as families clamber onto these and abolish the silence without a care in the world for others). I have had to move through three or four carriages in pursuit of a reasonable level of quiet, and often I have been unable to find it. The level of irritation climbs and I feel like shouting at everyone. It has affected my view of Sydney and has lowered my enjoyment of living here. This daily battle is not fun, and I all I want is to be able to travel in a quiet carriage with people who are polite and considerate of others. When it is really bad I listen to my iPod, yet the noise penetrates my ear buds, and I continue to endure the external noise.

As avoidance of the problem did not work, I now find myself telling people off. Asking them if they have headphones, and if not to turn it off as no one else wants to listen to it. I don’t want to be angry everyday for two hours as I travel my already taxing commute to and from work. Some people are not sensitive, and they are not sensitive to sound, so they will probably tell me to ‘relax’. Those of you who are sensitive to sound and their environment may understand my struggle.


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