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Observing my Surroundings

Updated on June 27, 2019
Melbourne Train Station
Melbourne Train Station

The Train Station

Arriving at the train station I’m welcomed by the earthy fragrance of the rain. Some people are lining up to top up their myki, while others are hurrying to touch on. There is already a large crowd waiting under the shelter. More people gather around. Usually, everyone spreads out but because of the rain, it is too wet to leave the safety of a roof over one's head.

I look up at the screen, the train won’t be arriving for another seven minutes. I walk through the crowd of people and no one is talking, which is something I don’t think too much of at first.

I find a place to stand and I notice in front of me there is a gentleman in a suit holding a black briefcase, the smell of his cologne is so strong I can almost taste it. Off to the side, I see another man in a suit, he is resting against the poll, scrolling through his phone, his briefcase is rested at his feet. The more I look around the more I notice that nearly everyone is looking down at their phones. I suppose there isn’t much else to do while waiting for a train. With the mix of cold wind and lack of sun, everything feels quite miserable, it’s written on everyone’s faces. I see one man, however, wearing a t-shirt.

As I’m listening to music the song changes to the next one. In between the break of the two songs I now notice how quiet it is. It is unusual for such a large crowd of people to be so quiet. Intrigued by this I pause my music to listen to the eerily silence. Looking over the crowd of solemn faces they all look bored and tired except one woman, she is smiling at her phone, unphased by the silence.

I keep my music paused just a tad longer, listening intently to hear if anyone will break the silence. No one does. Something about the atmosphere reminds me of the start of a horror movie. This would be the part when the monster gets introduced into the story and commits acts of horror. It’s as though no one notices how odd it is. I try not to laugh but it becomes a struggle. I don’t want to be the one to break the silence.

After what felt like an eternity, I get control of myself and the need to laugh diminishes.

Minutes go by and finally the silence is broken! A man dropped his twenty-dollar note. The wind blows it away, causing the money to almost fall onto the tracks but before that happens, he gets it just in time by stamping his foot on it.

“Oh, lucky one man!” His friend says loudly. They both laugh and exchange words of relief. It isn’t long until the soft murmur of voices spreads through the crowd. A few people shuffle about and the voices go from being a soft murmur to being a loud crowd of voices. The silence is broken! The station is once again a lively place.

Writing what I see

To write down and observe your surroundings is a great way to help with your writing. This was a random story I wanted to write about because people are strange. I love watching how they act in normal or random situations that are mundane to be in. Waiting for a train is one of the most boring things to do unless you make a story out of it. Life's dull moments can be made fun with a little creativity. Not that this is creative but I enjoyed writing about it. I would have liked to make it more creative but maybe for a different story I will try that. I love doing things like this, really gets the creativity flowing. You should try it when you're out one day.


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    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      21 months ago

      I really enjoyed this article and I agree that observation is the key to original writing. I tend to people watch at stations or airports - it's always interesting as I try to imagine what sort of lives they have. Thank you for sharing.


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