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Pleasant Evening Buzz

SEPTA has been running a program to try to curb what I guess they feel is rampant cell phone usage. Little posters in every car urge everyone to use their “inside voice” (what the heck is that?) on the phone. I guess it’s a problem sometimes, but it depends on the circumstances.

The morning train is dominated by a grim, funereal, almost oppressive silence so any conversation stands out. For example, one morning recently I was dimly aware that someone was droning on and on (I was concentrating on writing a post), and I didn’t really notice it until someone called them on it (the complainer was trying to concentrate on a crossword). In that case a single conversation can be hard to tune out.

Contrast that to the dynamic of the afternoon when most people are heading home. It’s practically happy hour by comparison—there’s a pleasant conversational buzz, the mood is lighter, and there are a lot of younger students on the train. If you’re really trying to concentrate, I find it’s much easier to tune out the buzz than a single conversation. Whether I am concentrating or not, I really prefer the buzz. Tonight for example, I was heading home from dinner at Gullifty’s in Rosemont, and the R5 was especially lively and pleasant. Check it out. [1.5MB mp3 1:36]

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