Observing

20:09

Our new assignment was to observe people in natural environments, people going about they're day to day life. I decided to do this on the bus. As the bus takes around half and hour to get home I had plenty of time to observe people.

I felt the bus was a great example of the unspoken 'rules' people follow whilst using this service. It starts right from the bus stop itself, 1st to arrive at the stop will be the 1st in the queue. This means that wherever they queue everyone will wait behind them. I experienced a strange example of this when at the bus stop, the 1st person had stood at the end of the bus stop not even next to the seat so everyone else had gone behind them and the bus stop was actually empty with people queued outside it. Clearly no one would dare to sit on the seat, so I did. Then the next step is the bus arriving, obviously the 1st in line gets on 1st and so on. Whilst sitting on the bus I observed people getting on and off the bus. Firstly everyone interacts with the driver whilst getting on whether its a friendly hello or a mumble of the bus fare they want. Many people getting on glance to see if there's any newspapers in the rack and either take one or keep going. Then it comes to choosing a seat, which is much more complex than it sounds. Firstly its polite to leave the seats near the front of the bus for the elderly, disabled or people with prams. Everyone knows this 'rule', but you do get the odd person who is usually clearly too tired to care where they sit so go for the closest thing possible.
So, mainly I noticed the younger generation/school children like to go straight to the back of the bus, excited to get there and all chatting loudly in their groups. Whilst watching I also noticed if anyone got on the bus on their own. They would want to sit on their own unless they knew someone. People will try their hardest to get a seat by themselves, they will even go as far as moving from a shared seat to an empty seat of someone leaves. For me, I find this quite rude and awkward. You don't know what someone is thinking if they have to move to an empty seat. Another regular way of sitting is one person sits on the outside of two seats so no one can sit next to them.

Once seated most people keep themselves to themselves, looking out the window, reading a book or listening to music, sometimes very loud which is quiet annoying for some. Some even fall asleep, which to others is highly amusing watching all sides of this was very interesting for me. Seeing the school children giggling at the students sleepy head bobbing about leaning on the poor business man's shoulder looking very awkward and unsure what to do. You also get the odd very talkative person who will talk to anyone that gets landed next to them. Making some people look quite uncomfortable.
A point where most people react the same is when the driver decides to take a break. Which is clearly fair to the driver but at the time customers get very restless and some what angry they have to wait. Some even get off the bus early so they don't need to wait.
When it comes to getting off the bus, people wait until they are near to their stop ring the buzzer and make their way to end of the bus. The odd person will return the bus newspaper to the rack, others take it with them or leave it on the seat. Some politely thank the driver as the bus comes to a halt and gets off.
At times I did feel slightly uncomfortable looking around at everyone and making notes. I wondered if anyone was watching me watching others wondering what I was doing. It really does amuse me that so many people follow the same 'rules' of the bus procedure. I even do it all myself!

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