MY POINT OF VIEW 24 (by Tatiana Sisquella)
I’ve just rushed to my computer to tell you about some good news I heard today. Now this is something that you might well think should be totally normal, but has in fact become an exceptional event, because these days having some good news to talk about in the media is about as common as being able to get hold of tickets to go to see the Cirque Du Soleil.
To get back to what I was saying, I just found out today that RENFE, the Spanish national railway company, has decided to stop the background music it plays on its local network trains in Catalonia. This decision has been taken after getting the thumbs down in a recent series of passenger surveys they conducted.
A train without music…at last!
This news is important for various reasons. For one thing, this is the first time I can ever remember that the national train company has been in the news for something that makes the majority of users feel good. Up to now the letters R. E. N. F. E. have always been associated with complaints, delays, arguments and a long litany of inefficiencies. Another thing is that it was high time that people of good will put up a common front and decided to stand together to show that they had had enough of ¨The Four Seasons¨ and Strauss waltzes as the soundtrack for a journey that, for many people, is repeated ten times a week.
Of course I realize that I am telling you about this, when you may not yet have had the pleasure of travelling through the Catalan countryside in one of these trains, surrounded by background music that slowly but surely induces irreversible brain damage. If you are indeed in this category, but plan to use this method of transport during your stay in our country, I would only ask you one thing: when you are sitting, in silence, on your way to Sitges, close your eyes and enjoy the absence of music that will now be imposed upon you. Remember that this silence is the result of years of suffering, auditive torture and the senseless waste of precious moments of time that could have been used otherwise. Close you eyes for a minute in memory of all the time wasted because it was impossible to concentrate on reading, thinking, sleeping or chatting thanks to music that was imposed with no other objective in mind than to calm down all those savage passengers and stop them from getting into a state.
(I’m sure it would be easy to find more than one study from some university or other with an unpronounceable name that would explain to us that listening to classical music makes us less demanding, less irritable and more conformist. Three things that are essential when the service being offered is largely defective.)
All in all, the situation is much better now than it was only the other day. All that’s missing is for the trains to be on time – but that’s only a secondary detail, isn't it?
QUESTION: Why Barcelona?
ANSWER: Because it’s a place where we also know how to appreciate silence.