So I came back from Southern Africa and the first moment I felt “Ah, I really came back” – was when the public address begun.
It started BEFORE I reach Japan – in the airplane. Altogether I heard four or five messages in Japanese.
“We will reach Narita international airport in xx minutes – the local time is xx:xx”
Fine, I don’t think we need it (they said it in English already and it’s also shown all over the screen) but still might be some benefit to some people. But of course that’s only a starting point, a tip of the iceberg. I had a bad feeling and Murphy’s Law ruled.
“The duty free-shop will be closed now. Please make sure you have finished your shopping”
“The video and audio service is now finished. We will collect the headsets so please be prepared”
“Please fill in the quarantine card before you enter the immigration gate”
“Thank you for choosing Singapore airlines…”
I don’t want to think the executives in Singapore airlines decided to do this on their own – there must been some pressure from the Japanese side to include those messages because that’s what everybody does here.
This flood of announcement continues forever.
At the ticket machine for the train, they guide you not to forget the change.
“Please take your 1000 yen note, please take your 1000 yen note, please take your 1000 yen note, …..”
(This, I would like to record and use it as the ring tone of my mobile phone one day)
In the train to Tokyo they added a special service: introducing what’s in today’s sales wagon.
“Fresh coffee, local xxxx blended with xxxxxxx, …..”
Sporadically the announcement does help. While you are in a middle of a over-crowded commuting train(I mean your comfort zone has been invaded completely and violently) and there is no way to approach either side of the train to look at the route map which is hidden somewhere amid the immense advertisement(and it makes this journey more riskier since the odds of finding the route map is four to one), the next-station announcement lets you know where you are.
I remember one more good thing. In the departing floor, they will NEVER forget that you are not on the plane yet. Always they are looking for somebody who hasn’t got on the plane. In Africa I once experienced “no announcement” boarding. We reached the airport, knew the flight schedule looking at the sign board, checked in, sat at the waiting room, and saw the plane arrived. People got out, we got in. We knew it was our plane because there was no other airplane visible in the airport and the plane’s company logo matched what’s printed on the ticket. While all these happened, nobody said anything aloud. At least nothing broadcasted.
I must admit I felt somewhat nostalgic for this hyperannouncement too. Evil but definitely an essential part of my home country.