Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Kiwi Voices'

Why are New Zealanders so effing loud?

shout (1)

Dizengoff on Ponsonby Road is one of the area’s better know eateries with a particular reputation for excellent coffee. There are plenty of tables for diners inside the cafe but, like several other local establishments, the acoustics aren’t great. When the place is less than half full you can’t hear yourself think.

Like most Auckland cafe patrons, if the weather is temperate, I prefer to sit outside. Dizengoff  boasts two pavement tables, one on either side of the entrance. Each table seats six people, three a side. You are cheek by jowl with anyone sitting next to you.

As a general rule diners aren’t particularly comfortable sitting immediately next to strangers and least comfortable if there’s very little space between the chairs or tables. This is in part a reflection of our sense of personal space and in part because we neither want to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations nor to have them intrude on ours. Common courtesy dictates that when seated next to a stranger in a restaurant or cafe – not to mention in a cinema or theatre – we keep our voices down.

On a recent Jim Mora panel I confessed to a penchant, as I was leaving a restaurant after a meal, for approaching any diner whose loud or droning  voice had annoyed me, making an ironic or sarcastic remark and walking off leaving them (and their fellow diners) to contemplate their crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

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