Sometimes it is nice to sit still and just watch the world go by. One of my favourite places to do this is in a café or coffee shop. Some days I feel like reading or writing while I am in a café but there are other times I just do some people watching and reflect on life.
I recall a particular occasion some years ago when I was sipping a coffee in a bakery that served nice coffee, watching the world go by. Actually, the world was rushing by.
It was a Sunday morning and I was spending a few days on holiday in an outer suburb of Adelaide. I couldn’t help noticing how people all seemed to be in a rush even though it was Sunday morning, a time I associated with slowing down. I observed people pulling up quickly and jumping out of their cars. They would hurry into the bakery, make their purchase, rush back to their cars and race off.
At the time my home was in a regional city which was pretty laidback. Although many people there were busy, they were likely to catch up with friends over the weekend. They would stop and talk to people. I probably noticed people hurrying that morning because it was a contrast to the slower, more relaxed lifestyle I had become used to.
These days I am living in an outer suburb but I am not aware of people rushing the way I was that particular morning. Have I just become used to it or was that day simply a particularly busy one for many people?
Some days there are a number of people sitting alone as they drink their coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Other times there are people who have arranged to meet a friend or two. Occasionally there are larger groups and perhaps children. Sometimes people are talking in a serious way and other times people are more light hearted. Usually people speak fairly quietly but now and then there will be those who speak loudly and their conversation can be easily overheard.
It is interesting to wonder about the other people who are having a drink in the café. Are they locals or are some visitors to the area? How well do they know the people they are with? Sometimes body language gives a fair indication that people are old friends. The tone of their voices may also indicate familiarity.
What about the other people who are drinking alone. Have they chosen to have a quiet cuppa and perhaps something to eat on their own? Are they glad to have some solitary time? Or are they lonely and don’t have friends to spend time with? Are they from out of town or do they live nearby?
Soon it is time to leave the café and get on with other things. It is good to be busy and have things to do, but I value my time out, on my own watching the world go by.