It’s been a long hard day pounding the streets meeting clients and trying to drum up business and I have eventually (thanks to South-eastern rail service signals failures being resolved) managed to get a seat (unheard of!) on the train home… 40 minutes of sweaty trains with stressed out people who look absolutely shattered from a hard day’s work! Lucky for me I’ve managed to land a train with air-con! As I flop into my seat I feel too exhausted to do anything even though its only 7pm and I know I have at least 4 hours of work to do when I eventually get back to the Office!! C’est la vie… So I decided to take a well-earned relax on the train for 40 minutes and people watch… My favourite pass time. People are amazing creatures!
Interestingly enough the train is packed (as per usual) but everyone actually has a seat which makes a huge difference to the space around me. I’m watching without trying to look like a stalker… the lady opposite me who is dressed in a super smart grey suit with a white shirt and black cufflinks. Her kindle is out 2 inches away from her face but the reaction to what she is reading is awesome. I’m guessing it’s a thriller or a really heavy rom-com!! She looks positively scared and her face is all crumpled up. As she reads her kindle it moves closer and closer to her face. I could whisper ‘Boo’ in her ear and I think she would jump clean out of her seat! I look across the seat to see a very cool guy with huge white headphones on typing on his iPad whilst picking his nose (not the best sight but he is clearly not bothered). His typing gets more and more aggressive as we go!! I’m imagining he is sending a letter to the nose picking society disgusted that they wouldn’t accept his application!!!!
Next to me (so I can’t really comment on his facial expressions) is a well-dressed gentleman doing his crossword mumbling the answers before he decides and then quickly scribbles down the answers… He has 3 words left… I’ve read them and I have zero clue what the answers are. I think about Googling them and helping him out with the answers but that would just annoy him!!
We have a nodding dog in the corner – fully asleep with his head nodding up and down like a dog – how he doesn’t wake up is amazing! I love it when people properly fall asleep on the train and completely zone out. I think I’m actually just jealous as I’m unable to switch off… My Brain just keeps ticking … Zzzzz. He looks so tired – bless him. Let’s hope this little cat nap is enough to re-energise him on his way home. There’s a couple in the corner that are clearly either newly together or a having an affair! All over each other at 7pm on a crowded train! With everyone in the carriage looking in other directions as if to ignore them, apart from an older guy sitting directly opposite shaking his head, getting faster and faster as if he is trying to attract their attention… it’s clearly not working… they are in their own world of lust!
The paper flicker. I love these guys. They have honed the act of being able to read their paper whilst folding it into a number of different sequences and the main part of this folding process is to flick the paper out each time, making a flicking noise for all to hear, fantastic to watch on the odd occasion, annoying to sit near every day I would imagine!
We pretty much have one of every tribe on this carriage;
- The intelligent looking, typically English paper reader.
- The trainer wearing executives with their suit and trainers on ready to run for their train.
- The shattered, overworked and under paid office worker that completely crashes out the minute they hit their seat.
- The vino drinker, with their tin of wine from M&S enjoying a tipple on the way home
- The student trying to revise on the train, eyes rolling to the heavens as they try to remember sections of their book.
- The gamer, with his headphones on viciously moving his pad around to win the games.
- The TV watcher who has stored up his favourite series to while away the time as he travels.
- The musician taping away at her laptop whilst holding her massive headphones and moving in time with the beat.
- The International traveller with the ultra-small wheelie suitcase.
- The uber-cool guy who sits with his shades on – even though it’s cloudy outside and getting dark.
- The hair flicker, who sits flicking her hair from one side to the other, smoothing it as she goes.
- The stressed out mum who has taken the kids to meet dad from work. Both parents look stressed out and the kids are super-excited to be on the train and want to play!
People… all from their own tribes, with their own mannerisms that make our journey so entertaining. I guess we are all drawn to our own tribes but are so interested in people that the other tribes fascinate us.
It does beg the question – Which tribe am I?
What do my fellow travellers class me as? – Probably the crazy people watcher with the smile on her face.
“Don’t you just love people watching in the City?”