People watching is a fulfilling hobby for someone with too much time on their hands. I hear it’s a good way to get inspiration for fiction writing although I don’t write fiction so I wouldn’t know about that.
And that’s not for lack of trying, I have piles and piles of notebooks from when I was younger filled with absolutely dreadful ‘stories’ that I tried to write as a child. I tackled topics I knew nothing about, tried to write as if I were one of my favourite childhood authors and was basically convinced I was going to be a published author before I hit 18.
Anyway, back to people watching. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like doing it, what is it that fascinates us about other people I wonder. This kind of makes me think back to when I wrote about why I enjoy reading blog posts a few weeks ago. It’s sort of the same thing don’t you think?
I love reading blogs because I like getting an insight into other people’s lives…the same reason why I’ll sit and watch people as they sit at the table next to me in Starbucks or walk along the street outside my house. Of course it’s a less thorough insight into their lives, but that’s what your imagination is for.
1) From your car
Well in my case someone else’s car, since I can’t drive, but it still applies, In fact it’s probably best to undertake people watching while you’re a passenger since you don’t have to be distracted with the task of actually driving the vehicle. Unless you’re stopped at traffic lights or whatever.
Anyway, cars are a good place to watch people who are walking along the pavement because most people don’t look into cars so you can go completely unnoticed which is handy if you don’t want to deal with the person realising that you’re staring at them.
2) In a waiting area or on public transport
This is just great because you’re often sitting next to groups of people. If you’re on your own and therefore not engaged in your own conversation, this also offers you the opportunity to listen to what people are saying. This adds a whole new dimension to people watching. We all know how important first impressions are and so you’re likely to glean everything you need to know from these people on a ten minute bus ride.
People watching in a place where people are getting progressively more intoxicated guarantees anyone watching a fun/hilarious experience. My boyfriend DJs sometimes and a few months ago I went and hung out with him in the DJ booth at a bar he was working at. While he was pressing buttons and turning things (he’s tried to teach me the more technical terms but, erm, it hasn’t worked yet) I was watching the goings on in the bar. While we were both being given free beer by the manager I managed to remain lucid enough to observe a lot of drama including a person actually just falling asleep on the dance floor. I’m honestly not kidding she just lay down and fell asleep. Once we realised she was actually fine this was highly entertaining.
Next time you’re in a club and your feet start to hurt and you hobble over to the side of the dance floor to remove your shoes (or whatever guys do when they need a break in a club) just have a little observe of the dance floor, guaranteed you’ll enjoy it.
4) A park
Any park is fine, preferably when the weather’s nice so there’ll actually be other people around to watch. As is typical of many teenagers who have nowhere better to spend their time, I spent a lot of time ‘down the park’ when I was younger. We’d sit by the skate park and decide which of the boys we had crushes on according to how good they were at doing cool tricks and then laugh at the ones that fell over because we were cruel teenagers back then.
5) Anywhere tourists might be
We’ve all been the confused tourist at some point. At least I hope it’s not just me. Going to a tourist destination to people watch is a prime location because a) there will be tons of people around and b) they’re probably doing funny things like getting lost and taking perfectly posed photos over and over again.
When I was travelling my two friends and I would laugh at ourselves and the way we would carefully pose while one took the picture, then we’d swap round and someone else would take it and then again until we had three almost identical pictures just with one person different each time…and there was probably someone else laughing at how stupid we looked!
That’s all for now