hi. it’s been a long time since i wrote how my day goes in tumblr (or anywhere). and frankly, i miss writing. lately i’ve been so occupied with assignments, thesis, tutoring activities and other daily routine that suck my energy up. hence, i decided to have a little me time in this lovely friday.
i have no class, and tired of doing (or at least trying to do) my homeworks. well, you can say that i use ‘me time’ as an excuse to procrastinate everything that i should be doing. soooo i went to pvj’s starbucks this morning. i sat there comfortably with my ammo (beloved laptop, decent wifi speed, spinach quiche and caramel macchiato) and drown in my own bubble world.
i was editing tidbits of a module for practicum (say hi to labor worker, and still haven’t been paid since last semester. doh) when my eyes wondering around since i can’t focus more than half an hour and i’m unable to move my neck side to side (long story short, i dislocated (?) my nerves (or muscles?) yesterday) when i saw 2 middle aged women entering starbucks.
did i tell you that i love people-watching? do you have any idea how fascinating it is, to think how much we can learn about people just by stopping to observe. whether we’re people-watching from within an angkot (or bus), noting the big rings the man across from us put on and the convo a bespectacled woman has with the driver, or when we’re seated in a coffee shop (like i did) and watch the world go by outside, not aware of our existence or our brief window into their world.
by doing this, i transcend into a different state of being, one where i’m looking within from without. It is both empowering and particularly lonely, as if i’m a ghost who observe the existence of everyone as they continue right past, never once aware of myself.
you see, when you are people-watching you can see the peculiar perversity that, even amidst suffocatingly large crowds, people still somehow think they are isolated and alone. people-watching gives me not just a new view on other people, but on the world (up to this point some of you might think that i’m a creep. well, fine by me).
the people are the cogs, and it’s only through removing oneself from the machine that one can see the whole splendid thing working away. everyone works together to create the daily chaos that fuels the city. and yet, there’s also a certain beauty in every individual, in every details.
i recall sitting in the corner of starbucks (well, it’s the most comfortable place for me, y’know, to be alone and not feel weird) near the ever famous shibuya crossing, my hands held a book that i never bother to read, and my eyes couldn’t seems to move away from the window, watching the marching past of a group of women busy doing something with their cellphone, the tired white collar man with his head hung low, and the handsome boy freshly finished with day school, his grin brimming with vitality, ready to play all night.
oh gosh. here i am again, totally blabbering non sense.
anywaaaaaaay, i saw these 2 middle aged women. quite pretty, obviously high maintenance (branded things all over their figures). they hugged their friend in the entrance and the three of them order something then sat down in the sofa behind me.
one of them had take out bags from a restaurant, so i assume that she probably had lunch with her friend. her friends, including her, are all on diets but each wanted to prove they can afford to eat out. they end up over ordering, hence the left overs. despite their diet, they always allow a cup of starbucks to act as their status symbol.
these women began to have a particularly odd discussion, loud enough for me to hear, i don’t have to try. “what should I get for my boyfriend? part of me says to get him nothing. i mean, i’m going to dump him on when i move out next month. ‘good luck,’ I want to say, ‘see you on the other side,’” to which her friend responded, “i mean, duh, your boyfriend was the guy walking around in the dark, clueless. he’s too nice, too naive”. her other friend suddenly showing her phone, “look, look, i met him yesterday at s****** (stating a famous club in bandung). gosh, he’s so hot i want to eat him.” -and you can imagine how the rest of the story goes. (if you’re from western countries and happen to read this, you might be wondering “what’s wrong with that?” but in my country, people is not as open minded as in yours. like a couple that sat next to them and came up with disgusted look all over their faces.
perhaps you think it’s silly, but the act of people-watching is a surprisingly informative activity. for writers, sociologists, or merely people interested in the weirdness of their fellow humans, it’s a fascinating way to explore human existence and all of its discussions of bad boyfriends, bypassing gamblers and pickpockets, and the trove of oddities in between. yet, people-watching is even more than that.
personally, i find pleasure in disconnecting from my world so i can better engage with it. like a mirror, the art of people-watching is a way for me to see myself in others. it’s through a coffee shop window, a corner of a classroom, a desk in the library, that i can finally understand the bizarreness of what it means to live, watching life and all of its peculiar characters pass me by. it also serves as reminder for myself to keep a little bit of sanity in this mad world.