I like to watch people come and go. I think people watching is a great way to pass the time if you are stuck at an airport, a bus or train station, or simply just want to relish in the moment and get a good sense of what goes on around you. I spend a lot of my days doing it – even the walk to University in the morning would provide a wonderful opportunity to do so.
Coming from a small village in the north of Scotland, you can people watch whilst sat on the bench outside the shop, but most people will stop and greet you: “Hi Catriona! What are you up to?” I love how small my village is and tha everyone knows each other, but it doesn’t provide the best opportunity for mindless people watching.
However, after moving to Montreal I suddenly realised that big cities offer a wonderful opportunity to walk down the streets, unrecognisable, in a completely new sea of faces. It provides a great place to watch people come and go, and luckily the big window in my bedroom looked out onto a fairly busy pedestrian street – the prime spot for watching people.
I would sit down with a cup of tea, my laptop open and maybe a little biscuit sneakily placed next to it. I would then begin to do my assignment for that week or finish my essay off but… as you can guess… I’d get distracted. There were just so many new, interesting people to look at outside! I saw some people breakdancing in the street, a woman walking five dogs(all of which were the same type of dog), I watched children cry as their parents dragged them along, I watched girlfriends and boyfriends walk hand-in-hand, I saw old ladies carting their shopping baskets, avoiding the mounds of snow and grit whilst doing so. Sometimes I would call through to my flatmate to look out of his window at something interesting: “Look, Kayhan! People are making a film outside!” or “Kayhan, look, there are 30 police cars going past on the pedestrian street! It must be for the riots!”
Having a bird’s eye view of Prince Arthur was a fantastic way to pass the day and watch people come and go. I really appreciated seeing the diversity of people go past, which is itself a good epitomy of how multicultural Montreal is. People from all over the world, from all different walks of life, would walk past my window.