Saturday, June 03, 2006

Inspiration on the Frankston train

Both the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of travelling on public transport can be the public. In this it's no different to shopping centres or on the street. Hence parents publicly scolding their children or the details of a relationship breakdown being shouted into a mobile phone. Try as one may, such carrying on is hard to ignore when the voice fills the whole carriage and one's mind is compelled to fill in the blanks.

The flip side is that there are also some great conversations to be heard on trains, trams and buses. One does not wish to be rude and be seen to be listening in, but the content of such discussions can be compelling and divert attention from the scenery or book at hand.

Quality conversations can be as prosaic as two grandmothers talking about their offspring and their families. Another example, also heard on the Frankston train, was where someone has a passion for something (in this case composing electronic music) and made a success of it as an independent. Even as one with no interest or knowledge of the topic, the human interest is universal, the enthusiasm infectious and the content genuinely uplifting.

If you discount the bad and savour the good, the overall result is a net benefit, so the exposure to same can be considered to be one more advantage of using convivial modes such as public transport.

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