I walk (almost) every day into work and on these walks in I notice people and things around me every Monday –Friday through Belfast. I don’t usually notice much going on from my house until I get into the city centre, but from the city centre I notice a hell of a lot of things and as I am a randomly daft sod I begin to wonder about their lives. So here are a few things I have noticed on my little jaunts. Shall we?
Cyclists passing or trying to pass me on the footpath
I almost made this one a follow up to my rant posts (check out the umbrella one here). I know that the cycling routes and facilities for Northern Ireland and Belfast particularly is a tad poor, BUT those arseholes who feel it is okay to bomb it along the footpath need a good talking to. They ring their bell at the pedestrians for us being in their way… I hate to break it to you random cyclist, but you need to be on the road and only come onto the footpath if you are putting your Belfast Bike into the docking station.
It has gotten to the point where I play a little game with myself and try to see how many cyclists obey the law and how many decide to be exactly what the cycling community tries to stop the average Joe from thinking about them. For the most part, the law-abiding cyclists lose out, twice a day. It is such a shame as I have mentioned before how much I want to be a cyclist and to see these people disregard others and try and speed and weave their way through busy paths when they would, in fact, get to their destination quicker on the road annoys me… Breathe Scott, Breathe.
A gent who has the most wonderfully creative fashion sense
Onto a lighter note, there is a gentleman I see walking to and from work and he has the most bespoke suits I have seen in Belfast, I do wonder if he buys them in or in fact, makes them himself. Annoyingly I see people look at him and snigger and I don’t get it. Not only is this guy wearing stuff that is pretty cool in my estimation, but he is making it work and has that confident strut that is needed to pull it off. I am this close to asking him if he makes his own stuff as it is so original… Well for Belfast anyway!
People I know who I end up giving the polite nod to
Ever walk past friends or acquaintances and just give the nod/smile/wave to as you both have places to go? I have this with a number of people on my way into work every day, to the point where if there are none of those options, I wonder if everything is okay. A bit dramatic I know, but it does make you wonder! Same as if you don’t see them for a couple of days… Is that person on holiday, are they ill… Curious… This one also extends to the strangers you see and are now at a friendly nod or smile towards.
Also, I wonder if they are annoyed at this guy who nods at them on their way to work and they are only doing it out of politeness. They haven’t changed their route yet and it has been a year, so I mustn’t be weirding them out… So that’s a win I guess.
I think I am up to four or so people who I do this with on a daily basis and it’s kind of nice to have that little routine in the pretty dull 30 minute stretch of walking. Do you ever wonder what these type of people do for a living and what their lives are like? Okay, my walks in might really are more boring than yours…
The fear of buying the same thing in the shop and being THAT guy
Almost every day I walk into Tesco and I get a pint of milk and every other day I buy some bananas or apples (got to mix it up ya know) I now have that terrible fear of being known to the staff as the milk guy or the whole milk guy (yes I buy whole milk, it is the best of the milks, fight me). Is it a good thing to be that person? I remember working in retail and cinema and we would have names or nicknames for specific customers. So now that I am out of retail, there is a real fear that I now have a nickname to these workers. Do I mix it up and go to a different shop every other day? Will I get a nickname from that group as well? Do I really want to pay more for my fruit and milk? Am I being totally irrational with all of this second-guessing? You. Tell. Me.
A homeless man who has constructed a makeshift home
Finally, I thought I would mention that on the last 5 or so minute stretch of my walk I have noticed a homeless guy who has made a makeshift house outside a derelict building across the road from me. I had always wondered about his story as I have seen his home grow from a simple tent to a man-made hut, with tarpaulin and even a door.
Then one day I read an article on a local news site that spoke about him and it stated how he was an army officer who had severe PTSD and could never settle again inside a house. So he was being homeless by choice and that the noise and the people around him at night helped him. He, in fact, helps these people who are finishing their nights out to get a taxi etc and I was really amazed and awestruck at that. He just wants to be left in peace, but I know how this country and Government works and that at one point he will be moved even if he is not doing anyone any harm.
I think about him sometimes and I thought that it would be quite cool for someone to maybe if he had a caretaker job for somewhere, where he gets to roam and live there at the same time that is safe. I do worry that one night his home will be destroyed by the weather or by some drunk idiots. Again, I probably think about this stuff way too much…
Well, there we have it… An utterly random post that I just for some reason had the urge to get out of my system. Do you notice things on your commute to work? If so let me know, so we can revel in our weirdness… Until next time!
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It’s not dramatic to worry about people. It shows you care which can’t be a bad thing.
The guy who has the cool cloths. I’d tell him you like his outfit. It will make his day.
I’m sure that a large supermarket chain will have sooo many people shopping there and lots of staff you don’t have to worry. If you are worried you can make sure you don’t recognize the person on the check out go to a different one. Honestly does it matter, you don’t know them and probably there is little chance of you ever seeing them out of the shop. A small shop may notice you as they will have less staff.
If your worried about the ex army guy see if you can start a conversation. He may not like the idea of a caretaker job.
He also may be more street savy then you think and be able to look out for himself especially as he’s been in the army
If you are walking into work you must notice the changing in seasons much more than people who drive into work. We are in NZ now but my husband used to use the train into Guildford UK everyday and walk from the station. He noticed the change in the seasons much more than when you used the car. It was always great in spring because you knew winter was coming to an end! Kathy