Another interesting place filled with interesting folk, though you wouldn't be there unless injured, visiting someone injured, or just a wee bit morbid, is the ER. Had the misfortune to visit one last week when I was imagining this post. The common thread, methinks, between an airport and an ER, is that they cater to all-comers and, in general, most of those comers are suffering through some degree of misery, which tends to reduce inhibition and other social filters, allowing for great observation opportunity (hey, if you've got to be there, might as well multi-task, right?).
What about you? Do you have a place you go (or wish you could go - injury free, of course) to people watch?
Grocery stores, or WalMart. It sounds silly, but people revert to caveman when they go in those places, I swear. It's a really interesting study in human behavior.
Same with driving, though it's less obvious-- it's interesting to watch what people do when they think there's no consequences because they're not face to face with the person they're being rude to. Not that that stops them in grocery stores...
I've got 6.5 years of retail experience behind me, and I totally agree with L.T. You want to see the nitty-gritty nastiness people perpetuate on each other? Go hang out at a grocery store for a few hours.
Or a restaurant, for that matter. People are horrid to anyone who works in the service industry. I like coffee shops where they allow you to sit for awhile and watch the people that come in and out. It's fun to make up stories about them.
Coffee shops! Multitasking at it's best. :)
p.s. feel better.
I spend more time than I would like at bus stations but use the opportunity to observe absurd people. Also Grocery stores scare me.
I've done my share of travel for business, and airports top my list. I like the anonymity, and the contrast...especially in big airports. In Atlanta it always seems that you will see someone sprinting to catch a flight, and they will be passing someone who is sleeping because he/she missed a flight.
LT, Oh, yeah Walmart's definitely right up there.
MD, 6.5 years -- better man than me... I did telemarketing for 6 weeks once... non-profit... still wanted to find a nice high window.
SKQ, that would probably be the one reason I'd start drinking coffee... just to blend while observing :)
TT, I remembering riding the metro as a kid and when not crammed into a tiny space Japanese style, there were some great characters to be seen.
RD, despite my appreciation for the cesspool of life at airports, I am constantly thankful that I've never been required to travel much. A bunch of my colleagues who aren't contractors constantly have to fly to Taiwan... it'd be a tough pill for me to swallow.
I work in a school so people watching is always an option :) I love places where you get a wide variety of people - and unexpected situations happening in them are always fun too!
Jemi - that would be one of my fave reasons for being a teacher... beaucoup source material :)
Love those airports! he he
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but when I was in college/grad school, the folks in the ER knew me by name. I had become a regular with my frequent bouts of figure skating injuries, basketball mishaps, slicing my finger open on crystal door knobs....the list is never ending.
I also like observing people at coffee shops, eavesdropping on their conversations when I should be writing fictional ones.
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