Never mind people watching, what about people listening? I love people listening, almost as much as people watching, if not more. Here is what you can do. Sit on a bus, near to the back, especially of a bus that is quite full, and just survey the scene. As you listen to the mindless chatter snippets of everyone’s conversation will ebb and flow. One minute you may be sneakily listening to someone’s bland chat about the weather, only to hear an over-riding conversation about something much more juicy. Often the most interesting and shocking chat will come from the most innocent looking source. At times when someone is saying their good byes, and getting of the bus, I almost want to follow them and ask ‘Well what happened next?’
People watching can rouse your curiosity in much the same way. It is something that I believe all of us do, to a lesser or greater degree. Many folks probably do it subconsciously. I know sometimes that, when I have been daydreaming a little, and drifted off, I have suddenly realized that I am freaking someone out by staring at them.
It can be fun though to watch people and try to guess things about them such as their names, ages, occupations, likes and dislikes or really anything that takes your fancy. Of course you’ll probably never know if anything which you guess is correct or not. Sometimes it’s more fun to try and build a fantasy around and about them. Other voyeurs may just like watching people and sort of judging them by assessing their clothes, demeanor and general style.
When I think about people watching, I often think back to a guy I knew when I was young. He was into the ultimate people watching. He would sit in a darkened room and, fascinated, look across the city to the windows of other homes or even at the stars. He once said to me, referring to the planets and stars, ‘I wonder if there is anyone out there, looking down in my direction wondering if there is anyone out there?’ and I knew exactly what he meant. People watching is like that. Never forget that what you are enjoying doing, someone else may also be doing and you may be the subject matter.