Wednesday, October 11, 2006

eavesdropping and peoplewatching on the bus

In listing ways to stay busy and/or entertained on the bus, this one is almost too obvious to mention. The bus is a public space with all of the public displays of personal life that makes such spaces interesting. After a few rides with a heightened awareness of your fellow riders, you will likely find yourself touched, surprised, disgusted, and chuckling under your breath. It’s not for everyone, but lots of people have found a little joy in observing other peoples life while waiting for their stop.

Of course there is a difference between innocent curiosity in humanity and stalking someone. Subtle voyeurism can be fun, but leering and obvious snooping just makes people uncomfortable. This how-to gives some suggestions for eavesdropping on a good conversation.

Blogging about your bus ride is becoming popular, with a focus on overheard conversations and observations of human nature that are sometimes unique to public transit life, and other times representative of the broader human condition. You can read about the PT life in SanFransisco, Seattle, and Ashville. Some have even formalized people watching on the bus into scientific studies. Buschick even has a newspaper column on her observations.

Maybe AATA routes could inspire some creative writing about ann arbor transit. If you do start a blog about life on the Ride, send us a link. We’d love to read it!

1 comment:

HomelessDave said...

Scott wrote "Maybe AATA routes could inspire some creative writing about ann arbor transit."

Last spring there was some talk over on Ypsi-dixit of a creative magazine with bus-related content to be distributed on AATA buses. Last I remember someone had already bought the first ad. Don't know what ever became of it.