I had to go to a nearby city the other day. BY MYSELF. Yes, it’s a rare treat. Shopping is not my thing. Really. But watching people is. Plus this mall has lots of visual stimulation.
What truly amazed me were the activities in the large food court. There was the usual reading of newspapers but I saw people reading both books and electronic readers. A number of people played electronic games. I saw two people working on a jigsaw puzzle. At another table three people played cards. A group of 10 or 12 had pulled tables together and passed notes back and forth–some sort of business meeting? What is this? A new form of community center? Why, for instance, make a jigsaw puzzle in the food court rather than at home? Are people feeling isolated? Perhaps as a result of so much on-line social networking. Maybe they simply want to see other humans. I don’t know.
One thing I do know. There is certainly something invigorating about working in such an environment. If I lived closer I would spend a few afternoons there writing and editing.
There was something very refreshing about sharing the afternoon with a bunch of strangers.