Livingroom
Comments 4

now, wait a minute!

I recall times when I could stand at a bus stop watching the cars drive by and clap my hands together to stay warm. I was able to queue in line at the cheese counter pondering my choices between the Parmesans, Manchegos and Goudas peeking out between the shoulders in front of me. I could survive my friend popping into the ladies room between the main course and dessert by sipping my wine and observing my fellow diners and the waiters at work. I was even able to pass a couple of hours on a train by simply staring out the window to the changing landscape, imagining how it would be to live in those towns or walk those roads or sit by the fire in one of those cottages by the lake.

And then I got a smartphone, with internet, and waiting became unbearable. The first thing I do when I’m left alone with nothing obvious to do is to take out my phone and start browsing Facebook, the news, blogs, you name it. And I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one. It’s almost as if a person who just is there, in the tram, at a restaurant table or at a bus stop without swiping a touch screen would be some kind of a freak, just standing there, lurking.

I want to make friends with waiting again. I want to soak in my surroundings more, see other people, see their moods and expressions, the little things. I want to see a couple having an argument in a passing grey Volvo and an old woman walking an old dog from my spot at the bus stop. I want to breath in the smells of the market, hear the chatter, wonder what stories those shoulders in front of me carry. I want to hear the rattle & jingle of dishes and glasses, watch the dance of the waiters between the tables, swish the wine around in my mouth. I want to imagine the possibilities and all the life that the passing landscape holds within.

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4 Comments

  1. So so true! What has happened to Waiting? I love technology and all that has been brought to my world because of it, but I also feel like a hefty amount of technology time out is in order too! Getting ready to institute a NO smart phone night at my house. I wonder if me or my son revolt first?

    • That’s a great idea! I have a bad habit of keeping my phone at my desk during the work day and checking it too often for emails etc. I think I’ll keep it out of sight and check on it every 2h or so. Take Charge! 🙂

  2. I was recently vacationing in Bermuda and noticed that people had their smartphones on the beach. I couldn’t believe it. I was thinking of all the things to do on a beautiful pink sandy beach with turquoise water right in front of you and surfing the web was not one of them. I think that people have become so accustomed to being constantly stimulated that the minute they are not, they feel too alone so they reach for their phone.

    • I totally agree. Funny thing, I’m just on my way back from a three-day business trip and when I left I noticed too late that I forgot my phone at home. So it’s been three days and I notice how many times I was reaching for my phone to check Whatsapp, Instagram or email, to take a picture or to check the time. So, I had to ask people for time, order a wake-up call at the hotel and simply acknowledge the fact that I can’t be reached 24/7 and I need to deal with the “lonely” moments at the restaurant, the bus stop and on lunch break. But to be honest, it was a liberating 3 days 🙂

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