Hard of hearing

Public Transport

london station

Source: http://www.freeimageslive.com/galleries/transtech/transport/pics/london_station8.

June 24th, 2015

“on the tracks, ei-eh, the tr-ain, arrival … time, unknown d.lay. Please obs.rve the directions on the a..oun..ments”.

Sigh, I ask a friendly looking lady next to me if she understood what was said more clearly. It had become clear to me that the train had a delay, and that I had to listen for more unclear announcements as to which train (possibly mine) and track it was. Unfortunately, the friendly lady only heard about as much as I did, as at the same time the announcement was made, a train had just pulled in. A bit later another announcement came and I saw everyone on my track move for the stairs. Since I assumed that it was about my train arriving on a different track, I followed. The Arrival times board also suddenly became blank.

Now I only had to find out on which track my train would come in on and I used the large table of arrivals and departures to find my train and its departure point. Now I arrived at the correct track and checked the schedule once more. I made it, and moments after I stepped in, the doors closed and the train pulled out of the station. Pfftt….

The same thing has happened to me at the airport a few times. Once, the gate for departure was changed 3 times within a half hour. Every change meant that I had to walk for a long time through the airport. Yes, there were announcements. However, I only saw the changes once they became actualized on the time schedule boards. Fortunately my husband was with me that time. Normally I travel alone and check the times every five minutes or so. Just in case.

This week I was travelling with a colleague, also hearing impaired, on the tram. All of a sudden, just before a stop, the tram stopped. It took a little while before there was an announcement from the driver. Since we both had trouble understanding, we went forward and asked the driver ourselves. We found out that the tram was stopped and could not go on. It was unclear how long the delay would last. We got off and decided to take a taxi as an alternative. The reason for our decision was that the taxi was already there and empty, otherwise we would not have made our appointment on time. Not to mention that it was a luxury not to have to listen to announcements ….


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