jctv: 04.01.2010HOME




  Coversational Fragments

Every working day, except wednesdays, I travel by train from Delft to Eindhoven. Usually I sit in the silent carriage where, middle-aged men and students work on their laptops or read their books and papers. However the silence of the carriage is not guaranteed and has often to be enforced by prickly men such as myself, when the level of noise from i-Pods or hilarious conversations gets too much. Because the conversations are sparse I have started collecting them. I try to recall them verbatim and leave them in their fragmented state. After all I am not trying to eavesdrop, I only record those parts of a conversation that force themselves upon me when voices are raised to a level at which they are no longer avoidable. Here is a sample, in Dutch. If you do not read Dutch, I recommend it as a language!

"Ik ben 1.65 en 67 kilo, ik denk dat moet dan maar. Zij is 1. 72 en 56 kilo, Ja. Ja ik was 7 kilo en sporten, maar het kwam er niet af. Echt heel intensief"

"Sooooh jouw ringtone is echt megafout." "I vind hem juist wel leuk. Ik moet hem nog veranderen want hij is oud." "Ja nogal!"

"Ja een beetje saai, met m'n vriendje zo." "Wat helemaal alleen met je vriendje?" "Nou en z'n ouders, nou maar ik moet 'm nog wel africhten. Zit ik lekker een dvd te kijken en dan komt ie zo en dan zeg ik van nou doe normaal, ga zitten. Ja. Nou vorige keer had ik gedronken joh, nie' normaal."

"Ik deed 6k." "Da' kan nie'." "Echt well." "Dat kan niet met een Greenie." "Nee maar ik deed het ook niet met een greenie, er zat ook een blu..."

"Mijn tante is kut. Ze ziet me gewoon niet staan. Ja, ze wou dat ik een meisje meisje was. Mijn oom kijkt me nooit aan. hij kijkt altijd langs me heen..."

Today I was in the train and the conductors came and sat in the chairs diagonally opposite me. Having finished checking their tickets they collapsed their heavy bodies into the extremely comfortable seats of our carriage and proceeded to chat quietly. Behind me a man began to whistle. A flat droning whistle in which he repeated the chorus of an indifferent song he was listening to on his I-pod. I signaled to theconductors that this is perhaps not quite the kind of behaviour we want in a silence coupé but they smiled back and continued their chat. So I got up and kindly went up to the man and told him that he was whistling. After all he might not have been aware of the fact. He raised his head without meeting my eyes and looked extremely put out. How scandalous, he said, spreading his voice thickly with sarcasm. I won't do it again. Thank you I said and went back to my place. The conductors continued chatting and suddenly realised they were themselves chatting in the silence carriage and moved away. I have become a policeman and a creep.


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