This is one of the days that I love being a student being off work and getting to see what other people are up to. In the corner of my favourite train station café, with my laptop and bucket of coffee, I am enjoying experiencing a snapshot of the lives of the people who sit at the table next to me. Who else has time to sit in a café? Who are my fellow comrades who are also not at work?
At first there is the young guy with long hair, neck tattoos and a leather jacket who seems a bit alone; I can feel him wanting to engage in conversation, but I am trying too much to concentrate on what I am writing to risk that (I am in fact now writing this rather than the thing I am meant to be writing, i.e. my thesis!) He has been on the toilet for a very long time now, and I’m getting slightly worried about what he might be doing in there. He comes back, downs his coffee and leaves. I feel a bit bad for having blatantly ignored his gaze and I somehow expect that he will have a lonely and sad day. I hope his toilet problem sorts itself out.
Next there is the elderly man who has been sitting for about 10 minutes eagerly awaiting someone. After a while and some crazy waving to signal where he is, an elderly lady arrives and they greet each other by the usual Swiss custom of three kisses on the cheek. They are very sweet. They exchange some Christmas baked goods, thank each other, and sit for a while drinking coffee, before heading off together to get a train somewhere. There are moments of quiet and moments where they laugh about something. I am wondering what their lives have been like and how they met. They keep checking their watches and confirming that they have a lot of time, no stress, more time than last time anyway. I am curious about which train is taking them where , but feel happy that wherever it is, they are going to enjoy each other’s company.
Now there are two elderly ladies who have been discussing their hair for a long time. It really seems to preoccupy them. The price of a haircut, where the best place is to go, how different their haircut is compared to last time. Which hairdresser is the pregnant one again? They figure that out. One lady has bought a hat for the other. It is a red sparkly beanie. Nice hat in my opinion, good choice. Not sure that the recipient is that convinced though. I don’t think she will wear it. It sits well at least though, this was agreed upon. Doesn’t squash the hair too much. As they leave, warm coats are buttoned up and fingers are slipped into gloves to brave the cold outside. They are hitting the town they say. No sign of the sparkly beanie though. Knew it.
It’s amazing who else is out there in the world apart from teachers and students. I will get on with my thesis now though, that’s a promise. Another coffee is definitely in order. Let’s just see who is sitting down now…..