Month: February 2012

The commuter and her eavesdropping

I overheard a delightful conversation on the bus this morning. Some may call it eavesdropping but, honestly, privacy is the last thing you can expect on public transport. 

The orator at my end of the conversation was a very distinguished looking gentleman with silver hair and a smart suit. He sat across the aisle from me, leaning on a golf umbrella that most likely promoted a reputable law firm or investment fund.

At first I was only vaguely aware of someone mumbling nearby while he greeted whoever it was that answered his call. Then, all of a sudden, it got interesting.

“Hello darling,” he said.

Now, hang on, I thought, as my ears instantly stood to attention and the book I was reading suddenly hit a slow spot. Who’s this he’s speaking to? His voice had become soft and, when I looked over at him briefly, I saw he had a big smile on his face.

“Are you ready for your big day?” he continued.

Big day? It’s hump day, I knew that. Hardly warranted the sort of enthusiasm and encouragement his tone of voice was eliciting.

“Have you got your bag packed and your new shoes on?”

Ahhh huh! I’ve got it. It was the new shoes – dead giveaway. Today’s the first day of kindy for a lot of kids across Australia.

More often than not, I find taking, receiving, or listening to someone else’s, phone calls on public transport a little awkward. No matter how quietly anyone speaks into their handset, it feels as though they’re shrieking into the other traveller’s eardrums at point blank range. It’s very difficult to ignore.

Today was different. Today I could’ve happily listened to this grandad’s (I’m assuming) wishes of “good luck” and “have fun” for the entire journey.

What a lovely call to receive on such a big day in your life.