The noise it is making sounds like a machine gun going off in the distance. He cannot hear it because he is listening to loud music through his earphones. Everyone else within a radius of ten meters can clearly hear it going off, but not a single person does anything about it. Should I go over and tell him?
Once the machine gun stops firing, there is a slight pause of several seconds before the phone goes off again. This time it is nothing less than a repetitive high-peep made to sound like some kind of badly orchestrated robot music. This is more than likely the SMS notification that indicates that someone has left a message on his voice mail. He does not hear this robot music either, and again no one gets up to warn him. Who knows, maybe it is a very important call. The person on the other line is thinking: pick it up, pick it up will you!
Yes, the person who is calling is very impatient, because within another minute the whole cycle starts repeating itself again. Again and again. Machine gun firing, robot music, pause, machine gun firing, robot music, ad infinitum, from the Duivendrecht station all the way to Breukelen. The ironic thing is that this person has purposely set the ringing volume to maximum, so that he wouldn't miss any calls, no matter how important they might be. Everyone in the train knows that he is being called, except him.
We are all thinking: pick it up, pick it up will you!
Finally this person gets off the train. As he walks away, the familiar machine gun is firing, getting softer and softer the farther he walks. He is still oblivious with the earphones crammed in his ears like gigantic vibrating earplugs. He will arrive home, open the door, and be greeting by a cranky though concerned wife. Why didn't you pick it up!?
This is just one proof of many that modern technology has a long way to go before it improves everyone's life, including mine.