Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster...

I just had the most wonderful visit with Phinnaeus and Marigold. They're great kids, and I love doing all sorts of things with them. We went to Cirque du Soleil Kooza, we saw "Despicable Me" and "Toy Story 3", we went swimming at Kitsilano Pool, and we went to see the exhibit of Impressionist painters' drawings at the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was fun. They're great kids, and I love taking them out for lunch or dinner to somewhere nice where we can have a nice meal, relax and chat -- if only I could hear them.  Every place we went, loud music was blaring from the stereo speakers.  None of the customers in the restaurants could hear each other speak, so everyone had to shout in order to be heard over the music -- which eventually was turned up even louder because the conversation was drowning it out.

*sigh*

Yesterday we went to a lovely restaurant called Bellagio Cafe, across from the Vancouver Art Gallery. It was a perfect summer afternoon, the food was good, the service was good, and I couldn't hear a word Phinnaeus and Marigold were saying. All any of us could hear were the Gypsy Kings ay-yi-yiing...  I love the Gypsy Kings and I think they're wonderful, but not at 100 decibels in an enclosed space.  Marigold has a very soft, quiet voice, and she was completely inaudible over the din music.  I sometimes wonder what it must have been like to dine in a lovely Edwardian restaurant, where people had actual conversations, and soft music played in the background, from a live orchestra.  Folks could actually converse with each other, rather than shout at each other in order to be heard.  Is it just me, or do other people experience this as well?

Bamboleo bambolea
porque mi vida yo la quiero vivir así
Bamboleo bambolea
porque mi vida yo la quiero vivir así

18 comments:

The Bug said...

Dr. M & I don't talk in restaurants very much because he has a hard time picking my voice out from all the other noises - & that's without the music being all that loud. We just sit & smile at each other :)

Jo said...

Dana, aw... that's lovely. :-) And yes, I have trouble hearing voices if there is other background noise too.

TomCat said...

So do I. It's wierd!

We have a Bellagios here in Portland, but probably unrelated. Best pizza in town. :-)

Charles Gramlich said...

Noise pollution is rampant here too.

Katy said...

I tend to pick my resturant based on noise level. There are places that have great food and service that I no longer visit because the noise is just too much.

Sam Liu said...

Completely and utterly, Jo. You always articulate things so wonderfully. Almost every restaurant I go to nowadays, the music is just far too loud. And it's not even music I like! But sometimes, just sometimes, we find a delightful café or restaurant, where the music playing in the background is very soft and we can actually practice that lost art of conversation. If only more places were like that...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It's not just you. I can't stand it. Another phenomenon I've noticed is that both TV shows and movies usually have ultra-loud soundtracks so that it's impossible to hear the dialogue. It's infuriating, and in a restaurant, simply unacceptable.

I'm so glad you had a wonderful visit with the munchkins, though. It all sounds just delightful!

lakeviewer said...

Too bad! I'd hate that too.

Jo said...

You are so spot on. I have noticed that lately and thought maybe it was just me.

It is very annoying, to say the least.

www.teensandtriplets.com

Firefly said...

I'm with you on this one. I also don't think places need to play their music so loud that you have to be able to lipread to know what the other one is saying. Soft background music is fine.

jojo said...

Oh I completely agree with you. I can't stand the noise, that and the fact that my kids speak so fast makes me crazy. I hate asking people to repeat something because I couldn't hear it due to excess noise (I think they hate me asking too.;)
Thanks for your encouraging words, sometimes the pain wins and I have off days just like everyone else...it's nice to know someone understands that...

the walking man said...

I have been in that situation, called for the manager and made him yell at me why he couldn't reduce the level of the muzak. when he refused I walked and went to McDonalds.

DJan said...

Noise pollution is definitely getting worse. I wonder what the reason for it in restaurants is: do they want to give us a sound track to our lives while we are eating? I have difficulty hearing over the din as well.

kenju said...

I hate loud music in restaurants and almost every one we go to has that. The only one that doesn't is a cafeteria, with questionable food, and a LOT of old people eating there!

TC said...

I understand what you are saying completely, I'm hard of hearing sort of anyway, some sounds I can't make out, have problems with the phone. Extra noises just drive me batty.
THANKS for putting me on your blogroll, I have no idea how long I've been there...I will try to live up to the honor.

Single and Sane said...

I've noticed that even wait staffs often have trouble hearing the orders. You would think that would be a clue, wouldn't you?

Mia said...

I always thought that was an American thing. California restaurants can be too much. Other countries seem to understand that background music should be in the background.

Except in China. There always seems to be a TV on. But most of the people are much louder than any TV anyway.

Paula Slade said...

Loud music does seem to be the trend in restaurants - frankly I don't get it or like it.