Making Public Place 公共の場のつくる

The warm summer breeze touched my cheek. I checked the weather forecast, which informed me of the early heat wave! It looked like the rain was on its way after the short snip of summer weather. I could not help myself to plan a spontaneous camping trip. This instant decision required some schedule adjustments. I had to get some work done, but I also did not want to miss enjoying this beautiful weather outside. I booked a campsite and decide to take my computer. “It will be great working in a woods by the lake! I will get so much done.”

On the day of, we packed lightly. I made sure to pack my USB, computer, some notes and so on. I was a bit nervous about not having electricity, but I thought this threat will encourage my productivity.

After checking in, we set up the campsite, and I opened my computer. “Ok. Gotta get this done so I can enjoy the campfire later” Then, I noticed some music with a heavy bass sound. The music stayed and echoed the whole campground. They betrayed my hope. The music got louder and louder. I decided to see what those noisy campers were doing. To my surprise, they set their campsite with amps and mic stands. Three guys singing for some audience! What the …

I saw a park ranger passing by in a track. I waved my hand and asked, “The music is quite loud. Is this someway that we could ask them to be mindful?” The ranger told me that someone had already been on it because others also complaint. “Ok, good. I am not alone”, I thought.

However, the music didn’t stop. I was getting agitated. “Man, I have to get this work done, but I can’t concentrate!” I closed my computer and took off. I though that going for a walk would calm me down. On a way to the lakeside, I saw another park ranger. “Excuse me, I thought someone was talking to those people who are having a personal concert? (in a public space)” The ranger told me that he could not do much because there was no rule to stop loud noises before 10 pm.

I gave up. I packed up my computer and went to a little beach near by. “Oh my goodness!” I thought. The view from the shore was unbelievably beautiful. I knew why I had to experience the loud people bothering me. I really had to come here to enjoy the serenity and heal my soul by just sitting and working while hearing gees pecking their dinner. I got my work done in no time. 

When did they stop the concert? It was 10:02 pm when an unhappy guy yelled “It’s 10 o’clock!”  

Before they stop playing I saw them again on the way to the bathroom. I saw one of the ‘band members’ talking to a friend who was just about to leave the site. I overheard the conversation unintentionally. The guy was telling how the driver should drive safe and should call him when the friend got home. I thought that it was very thoughtful. The person seemed to know what care might mean, and yet when it comes to his non-friends, perhaps he could not put his feet in someone’s shoe. Or putting own feet in someone else’s shoe might mean different to different people….I thought that it was quite interesting. 

So. What would you do in this kind of situation? Would you say something? Would you leave the site? Would you feel annoyed and ruin your camping trip? Would you write to the government to reconsider the campsite rule? What is worthwhile to whom?

Making a public space can be hard. Making everyone happy? That’s next to impossible, but how can we also make a space where we can create a reciprocal relationship?