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In the Company of Strangers

Posted 6th March 2014 at 23:47 by indigo777

So I sat at Peterborough railway station watching the people in the waiting room. All four of them pressing frantically at tiny buttons on their phones, desperate to communicate with other humans as if their life depended on it or maybe they were just playing Angry Birds or the latest game. Not me of course, I don’t have a mobile phone being a loner. I just sat and waited for the 15.52 to Leicester and watched.

It sometimes hits you what actually being normal in the human world means. It’s just what the majority of people do at that particularly moment in time. Years ago someone doing something on a phone would have appeared unusual and the odd one out and almost ridiculed. Now someone without a phone is weird and several websites even demand our mobile number for identification purposes as if you have no excuse for not having one. It’s like owning a driving license or passport but then I don’t have those either.

I like to people watch after becoming interested in human behaviour while trying to understand my SA many years ago and a railway station or train is ideal for such a purpose. You see all sorts, commuters mostly, some tourists and lots of pensioners during the day, quite well off, they don’t look poor. Not many people do on the railways. Perhaps it’s because the fares are now so high. It’s also interesting how people like their own personal space when travelling alone. Almost all of them sit on the outside or put their bags on the adjacent seat to stop strangers sitting next to them. It seems even normal people are often anti social when it comes to being in the company of strangers. People look at each other, judge each other but seldom if ever speak. The rules of engagement are quite precise for strangers on a train. It’s sometimes good to just sit quietly and watch the normal people go about their normal business even if you have never felt really like one of them.
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  1. Old Comment
    I really enjoyed reading that :)
    Posted 7th March 2014 at 09:27 by either/or
  2. Old Comment
    Posted 7th March 2014 at 13:16 by indigo777 indigo777 is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Belinda's Avatar
    I enjoyed it too- I really like the way you write and can empathise with everything you've said here
    Posted 8th March 2014 at 00:32 by Belinda Belinda is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Thanks Belinda, I am trying to write in the way that I think (however strange!) rather than in the way I think I should write.
    Posted 8th March 2014 at 19:29 by indigo777 indigo777 is offline

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