Monday, May 18, 2009

Life is like a cycle, like a circle....

Three days a week I work in a shop. I spend nine hours a day, three days a week locked up inside watching the world go by. I've really started to notice things, started to notice a routine to all the action going on outside. People LOVE routine.

Everyday I see the same things happening.

I see the man at the coffee shop, I think his name is Wolfgang (no...really!) and he gets a short black every morning, and he hogs the newspapers and sits there for hours doing the crosswords and the puzzles. Then he goes home and comes back again in the afternoon. I like to think that he is maybe a writer? Maybe he's suffering writers block.

I see the man at the scooter shop, I think his name is Pete. Every morning he gives me a big smile and a wave while walking his daughters past my window around the corner, to where I do not know.

I see the little girl named Lily who goes past my window morning and afternoon on her way to the school. Sometimes she gets picked up by her Mum and sometimes her Dad.

I see all the regulars at walking past on their way to the chemist on the corner to visit the methodone clinic. I see them all waiting out side for the pharmacist to arrive, and then chatting away and helping him put out the signs and the sandwich boards.

I see the boy who once came in to order an engagement ring but didn't end up going ahead with it. I know he works at a bottle shop in Clifton Hill, so he has a long walk every morning and afternoon but now he walks to work on the other side of the road.

As well as the regular people, I also notice regular things happening. Like people looking at themselves in the shop window when they think you can't see them. And people standing in our doorway on their phones to get some privacy, not realising we can hear everything they are saying.

I guess the people at the shops around me have probably grown use to my routine as well. I get to work, always early to try and avoid the school traffic. Read my book in the car for 10 or 15 minutes before getting a coffee and a muffin (best muffins ever...) from the coffee shop. I open up the shop, put all the jewellery out, and get down to work. My boss arrives, the postman comes, I answer phones and serve some customers. My boss leaves, I pack up and then I drive home. I go to the supermarket where I see the blonde girl operator flirting with the boy operator with the dreadlocks, I cook dinner, do some stuff and go to bed.

I know this isn't a Melbourne post really, but it's just something I've been noticing and thinking about. I guess we all have routines, and I guess they are useful but at the moment I feel like I'm going in circles, my life is on loop and I'm stuck in that part of the Truman show where he realises the same thing is happening every day.

What kind of routines do people have during their day? And not just the obvious ones, like get up have breakfast, go to work, but the weird and wonderful things that we are all in the habit of doing on a regular basis, like hogging the papers so you can do all the crosswords.

image by Unhindered by Talent


  1. I catch the same train everyday, so I've got used to the other people's routines. There's a guy who also gets on at Newtown who likes to stand up near the doors that go between the carriages. If I get on first, I'll always move aside so he can have his favoured standing spot.

    I've been thinking about this stuff a lot recently as well. I'd love to write a short (or long) story on it, but I'm not exactly sure where to start. Maybe I should just start writing and see what comes out.

  2. I used to live in Sydney years ago and caught the train to work in the city. Every day I would get on the same train, at the same station and would always stand in the same spot so I basically got on the same carriage everyday. It seemed though I wasn't the only pathalogical routine loving sydney-sider... I would always see the same people in the carriage too.

    It only really dawned on me that I had this habit when I would randomly see people from the train carriage walking the streets and nod at them, wondering why I thought I knew them.

    Ahhh familiarity!

  3. I do that too Andrea! I have that moment where I'm not sure if I should say hi, since I've never even spoken to them (usually I keep walking).

    And then there's the guy who's always really rude and pushes in front of me. When I see him around the place I want to glare at him...

  4. Hi Kate,

    I like your post! It might not read like the usual "i found you in Melbourne post", but it is a very "Your" Melbourne post. Thank you for sharing a snippet of your life.

    As of routine, I'm just like every one else. I walk my dog the same time and the same route everyday. I also drive to work on the same road. I think we can't get away from routine ... :)

  5. Every morning I get up half an hour earlier than I need to for work and eat my breakfast and drink my tea while reading all the tweets from overnight and if I have time I do a quick browse of my bloglines. It puts me in a good mood and opens my eyes to the pretty things in life, so when I'm driving to work and stuck in traffic I can look at the beautiful autumn leaves instead of getting road rage (although I still get a bit of road rage) :)

  6. I loved reading this post. It reminded me of Once, which you should see if you haven't seen it.

    Every day I say to myself, Let's sit down and do some studying, and then I go on facebook and wait for something to happen. This can happen at any time of day or night.

    I had some small conversation about ginger with a rather attractive person this morning at a cafe where he evidently knew the people working there.

    Do you think his routine is to hang out there in the mornings, chain-drinking cups of teas?