While I commute to and from work on the train, I often find myself staring ahead, intently watching people, taking note of what makes them feel good, how they move, what they wear and the image they so desperately try to portray. The concealed moments where one tries to chew on some gum or ever so discreetly pop a sweet into their mouth (which is actually not allowed on the train and results in heavy financial penalties). Eyes darting in opposite directions when noticed. Postures rectified.
The more I thought about what was grabbing my attention, the more I realised just how long the list became. It’s all here, all in the detail of what goes through my mind:
- Bald heads, either covered up or proud to see the daylight. Some men stand tall and proud while others hide the embarrassment of having no covering. Their darting eyes give them away.
- Hairstyles both long and short, mostly acceptable colours. Some messy, some neatly in place, and some permanently glued in place by a miracle hairspray. Quite a few actually just don’t care, or could I be mistaken?
- Beards, not quite sure if any beard is actually considered hygienically clean. Trust me, you would probably have the same opinion when you have seen the many travelling beards on this train, they even come with snack packs!
- Hats versus caps.
- Glasses versus sunglasses.
- Bright lipstick. I honestly thought lipstick had gone out of fashion but apparently not. And no, not only limited to red.
- Facial expressions, including yawning, sadness and exhaustion. My favourite is watching those mouths wide open, eyes closed and snoring. I’m just waiting for something to fly in!
- Voices! I find it unnerving when the voice is almost always not what you would expect from what you have seen. I’m very grateful that most times I am sitting down!
- Jewellery and earrings, quite often not only limited to the ears and hands.
- Fragrances! One’s sense of smell has to be questioned especially when you see most passengers in the same section trying to gasp for fresh air, almost intoxicated.
- Rings – big, small, many and few. Presumably indicating whether one is married or not. But even nowadays one can’t tell if it’s for fashion purposes or really truly indicating a commitment.
- Painted and shaped nails, including toe nails. I mean there are some really scary looking, witchlike, ugly nails out there! Maybe they all want to be Cruella DeVille!
- Closed shoes versus open shoes.
- Laces versus no laces.
- Pregnant, thin, fat or podgy.
- Cracks and underpants (yes and these are not plumbers!). And not necessarily the millennials and centennials of our time just wearing their pants purposefully below the bum line. These are mostly grown men who possibly don’t realise just what they are showing when they bend over or even just sit down!
- Earphones. Plugged in, bluetooth, wireless or even the full headphones. After seeing this array of products right before your eyes, one could literally pick exactly what style and brand they would want to buy for themselves.
- Matching socks.
- Tattoos. Amazingly every where on the exposed body parts that one can see.
- Lanyards. The different colors, style and purposes used to carry keys, cards and other strange goodies.
- Cell Phones. Definitely a must have on any train trip. They range from the latest and greatest to the good ole blackberry type phones. And everyone is using them.
- Lunch boxes, sport bags, laptop bags, handbags, and even manbags.
And my favourite must be:
- Personalities! Some quiet and introverted, some loud and simply just full of themselves. I mean all kinds are out there. One guy in particular seemed a bit odd but so free. He was conducting music whilst holding his phone to his ear. He was even singing along as he got more and more into it. To a point where the other passengers clearly started to feel uncomfortable and told him to be quiet. Others just tolerate unruly behaviour and others simply watch and wait for that YouTube moment.
Everyone’s fashion is there own. Everyone’s personality is their own. And everyone has the right to be themselves. Could you imagine how boring it would be if we were all the same?!