Saturday, September 10, 2011

People Watching …aka ….an excuse for being nosey

Hope you enjoy my ramblings ...sorry no photos this time ...plenty on the way though lol

The other day I dropped into a high street coffee house in Dundee, specializing in the Italian variety of the beverage. I had a need for refreshment and the desire for some people watching.

Having settled for a small corner table, I found that I had given myself a great observation post from which to watch my fellow customers. I dismissed the obvious couples after a quick look and concentrated on two trios, and those who, like me, were sitting alone.

The lady and her book seemed of little interest at first, as her only movement was to turn a page and then to lift her cup from saucer to mouth …I did however watch for a while to see whether she was going to ever miss her target, as her eyes seemed transfixed on the page and nothing else ….I so wanted to see her fail …but the thought made me feel a little evil so I switched my attention to another.

I had to secretly smile while observing my next target, the lady at the table across from me. While trying to elegantly eat her slice of cake with a fork, her prey seemed determined to move around the plate, no matter how hard she tried to control it. Eventually, with great effort, she managed to divide it in half but then grabbed one piece up between two fingers and consumed it rapidly…hunger had obviously won out … but her eyes seemed to be checking, as she ate, that no one was witnessing the event.

The three young Japanese girls squealed with delight and broke into high pitched giggles as their refreshments arrived, surely they must be tourist rather than students to offer up so much excitement over three frothy coffees and a bowl of something edible. As they chatted, and giggled some more, they stabbed their forks into the communal bowl that, by their facial expressions, contained something quite delicious. It was obvious they were enjoying their time together even though my eyes had wandered away from them, more giggles reached my ears.

Other than me, there was only one other solitary person for me to observe …I suppose one could describe him as a kind of geek as he sat tapping on his lap top, only ceasing to place a hand on his face in a manner that resulted in his thumb lying across his cheek and fingers curled beneath his nose. His eyes stared at the screen and then into the air beyond him, before resuming the tapping. These actions were repeated over and over again …each time with his digits landing in exactly the same place on his face. I am not sure why he had purchased the large latte that shared his table, other than to secure a seat, as it was still there, untouched, 45 minutes after I had taken my seat.

The final group grew as I sat enjoying my latté with its extra shot, and a slice of Sicilian lemon cheesecake. First a young man settled himself comfortably at a table, which had settee seating down one side and was suitable for at least six, He seemed to be positioning and repositioning himself as though posing for a photograph, and quickly glanced expectantly towards the door a few times…. he was rewarded by the arrival of a vivacious young female who clung to him in a long friendly embrace before casting off her outer garments and settling on the chair opposite him. With in moments another joined the couple…she was less demonstrative with her greetings but settled down next to the young man on the settee. The first girl seemed to be taking centre stage, with her gesticulating arms becoming more and more frenzied, her body language more forceful and an increased volume to her speech. The other two seemed to sink into the cushions behind them and develop a glazed look across their faces, but at the same time managed to hold a forced smile punctuated by a knowing nod now and then.

Alas my watching time had to come to an end …how I wish I could have stayed longer to see whether the geek ever drank his coffee or the ‘three little maids’ ever stopped giggling but most of all I wanted to know, out of the three friends, who left with whom …alas I will never know.

Maybe the most important question really was ….Was anyone watching me?

Hope you managed to get to the end .

Take Care xx


Elizabeth said...

Hah, Angie, I was ready to close down but decided I do one last refresh before retiring and your link came up - had to look and did, indeed, get to the end. Entertaining read and I just need to know if the geek drank his latte and just why the couple put up with the gesticulator - it's really not fair to leave on a cliffhanger :) Elizabeth x

crafty cat corner said...

Hi Angie
You are not alone with people watching, sad thought some people may think us, Mr.T and myself like nothing better that to take outselves down to the station and sit watching the day trippers traipsing back home. The pier is another good watching point.


Carmen said...

Another people watcher here. You took the thought right out of my head there when you said you wondered if anyone was watching YOU! :D

Imagine, the geek could be writing the next big thing in the novel world for all we know - I wonder what world he was in , in his head?

Carmen said...

p.s - you should link these stories up with Sian ;)

Alison said...

Very entertaining read Angie! Love a bit of people-watching too. Feel sorry for that lady, eating her cake, been there myself! Lol! xx

Sian said...

Hi Angie, thanks so much for dropping by my blog and letting me know about your story which I have read and enjoyed very much. You should definitely link up for the enxt Storytelling Sunday - it's the first Sunday of every month. We're a friendly bunch and you are bound to pick up a few new readers :)

weaverpat said...

Fascinating observations! Being nosey can be such fun. Zip and I love to go to restaurants and observe the people around us and speculate on their lives and relationships.

Pam said...

You have a real way with words Angie-wish I could write as well as you do!!

Helen said...

I came here to see your desk on Wednesday but couldn't help noticing this - and what an interesting people-watch you had, to be sure!!

The Crafty Elf said...

Awesome read....I so enjoy your writing! Thanks for the brief...take me away.....moment!