Thursday, April 8, 2010

Get out right now!!!!!!!!!! (pretty please? With Mozart on top?)

A rather surprising thing happened the other day. I was waiting inside a bookshop for it to close, as afterwards there was going to be a meet and greet with an author (Ian Rankin). Now, I can guarantee that if this was Waterstones in London, there would be a very loud announcement over a loud speaker asking people to leave (albeit in a false posh London accent, trying to disguise the owner's Cockney soul).

Here in Germany they do things a little differently.

They play classical music.


It starts off as a soothing background noise, luring you into a false sense of security and your expat thought reaction kicks in: "Oh, isn't this nice how they don't rush you out of the shop in Germany like they would usher you out in England." However, steadily you notice the music becoming louder....and louder...and louder. Before you know it, Mozart has blasted onto the bookshop scene in an almighty crescendo that becomes torturous to your ears.

I'm sure this is just a mere adaptation of the torture technique. You know, where they find the most grating tone possible and then play it for hours until you crack? I sound like a torture expert don't I? Really I've just watched a lot of "Spooks" on BBC1. Poor old Adam, he went through the mill in Season 6.

In fact, it's probably even designed as a way to usher out the British who are lagging behind because they don't understand the initial polite announcement of "Wir schliessen jetzt" (We're closing now) I can imagine the cultured Germans all sitting down around a large table in a  meeting room discussing the best way to get rid of the British from their bookshops. Then some genius, probably named Hans, pipes up "Zie classical music! The British will retreat straight away!!"

What I find even more intriguing though, is what their technique is at the beginning of the day. Maybe I should go in before the shop opens one day to investigate what type of music they use to lure people inside at 7am? It will no doubt be one of two things:

If they want British customers: Leona Lewis.
If they want German customers: Mozart's Piano Concerto No.24 in C minor