Top Ten Thursday - People Watching


Welcome to Top Ten Thursday! For today's post we ventured out for some serious people watching! 




That's right, we did a perception exercise: 

Went out there to a bus top, a grocery store, a fast food restaurant, a parking lot, and observed!  What were they up to, did they seem happy, why did they make an impression on us,..? 

I love me some people watching. I try to figure out more about their lives: are the in a relationship, do they have kids, what do they do for a living? I mean if you see a lady pushing a stroller in the middle of the day "stay at home Mom" is pretty safe bet, same goes for professionals in uniforms. You can tell this guy is a construction worker or a bus driver. But random commuters, tourists, coffee lovers in line at Starbucks?

Let's see who caught my attention:


  1. Two middle aged / retired couples are having a grand time at a mall cafe. The men, especially the one in his bright yellow tank top and plaid shorts, are dominating the conversation loudly. Makes me wonder if hubby and I will ever meet a friendly couple for coffee once we retire? I think not.
  2. Parents at the Staufberglauf, the annual race around our local hill, stepping onto the street, filming, taking pictures, cheering on their kids as if they were winning an Olympic medal. Too much of good thing. As his Mom, of course I am supporting my son, but this is embarrassing! 
  3. Probably the youngest participant of that race, a girl, maybe 20 months old? Cutest little lady kept walking around her stroller, examining her bib number and all the while sucking on her pacifier. 


  4. Elderly lady at the supermarket checkout, counting out coin by coin to pay for her one item on the belt. Geez, lady, you're holding up a number of people who need to get back to work or make snacks for their children who are coming home from school in like two minutes, hurry it up already! I guess they go grocery shopping during rush hour for the social interaction, but this is not social!
  5. Barista at my "Hockey Town's Starbucks": he's trying to fix his beverages, and there's a wasp lingering, it seems super interested in tasting the sweet syrups. He grabs a cup and tries to catch it. The wasp doesn't think so. After what feel like five minutes he finally succeeds and walks out of the store to release the wasp. Something tells me it won't take long till it's back!
  6. Still at Starbucks. There's a family with a lot of children, all but one well behaved. The one is super obnoxious and loud and won't stop shouting nonsense at anbody who wants and doesn't want to hear it. Do the parents think it's cute? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one getting a headache. Now the kid is climbing onto the table. Since when is that acceptable? Do they walk around on the dinner table with their street shoes on at home? Give that kid some attention, a book, crayons, anything! There are people who'd like to enjoy their hour of quiet freedom!
  7. You know me, my writing time typically happens at SBUX while Colin is at hockey practice, so forgive me if half of my assignment happened there: I observed a guy who - like me - comes here often, working on his notebook. The fact that he does so during the day makes me assume he's a student even though he might just as well be working for a start-up or setting one up, and Starbucks is his office.
  8. A couple of tables next to him there were two guys conducting some kind of an expat orientation. A Swiss guy was telling an Indian guy all about health insurance in Switzerland, benefits, prices, advantages. He did so in OK English but a very thick Swiss accent. 
  9. And then there was this boy doing his homework at Starbucks. He didn't seem happy at all. OK, it wasn't a random stranger, it was Colin, my son. I wonder though what an outside person's impression must have been. It was the day of the shooting of the hockey video, for which C got off shool early yet again, thanks to his wonderful teacher. As a token of our appreciation I told her Colin was going to write an essay about his passion for hockey, and I honestly didn't think he'd have a problem with this. After all isn't he the one who wants to write stories? Well, guess again. It took some insistent convincing, and eyes were being rolled at me... in the end he somehow grumpily filled a page. 


  10. Last but not least we witnessed two guys literally bumping into each other on the street last night. Actually a car hit a motorbike, and the biker kind of slang away. We immediately stopped to see if they needed help. Turned out the guy in the car was an American businessman in a rental car and the biker a young local guy on his way home from vocational school. Nobody was hurt, but they still called the police. A resident form the neighbourhood joined us in case anybody needed anything, and the longer it took for the police to arrive, the happier we were about the chilled water she got from her house. It was a good experience. I mean, as good as a collision can get. Everybody was friendly and calm. Shaken up a bit, but not aggressive or anything. The boy called his Dad because the bike's engine was not starting so he needed a ride home. Actually it was his Mom's bike, oy! There was a lot of traffic, and there must have been more people seeing what happened, especially the oncoming car - nobody else than us stopped, though?

OK, this assignment was tougher than I thought. You can't just quickly look at people and move on, you feel like taking part, invading a bit of their privacy by listening to their conversations and drawing your conclusions. I even discreetly took some pictures.

Do you happen to observe people? Do you like it, do you feel creepy? Let me know down below or link up your own post.

What's next?
August 31st: We're on the brink. Summer's not over, but yet, there are signs that fall is approaching. What do you like about this time of year? List your top ten! (sign up here)




September 7 let's talk about decisions: regular, daily ones, big important ones: what were some decisions you have taken in your life, which are you making all the time or will you come to in the (near) future? Sign up here.