I’ve always been fascinated by the phenomenon that humans are able to sort of close down and shut other people out, even in a very dense crowd, like on a bus or tube in rush hour. We pretend that others don’t exist and that we have an invisible shield around us for protection. For some, these situations are more angst-inducing than for others. It used to be that way for me, many years ago. Boarding public transport, like everything from a train to a plane, caused a lot of stress. Then I moved to a larger city and found that being surrounded by lots of people is what living in a city is all about. And I grew into liking it. Surely, it can be exhausting and frustrating if you’re in a hurry. But now I feel like it’s a relaxing time, being on a bus, lots of people around, lots of stories, worries, pleasures, joy, sorrows, everything a human life entails. For a short while, we share space and fate, as it were, for better or for worse. Those who are not at ease with it, who have drawn a large circle of personal space around them, attempt to maintain its boundaries no matter what it takes, from the moment they arrive at the bus stop until they’re back home, like the two above, possibly lost in their own worlds.
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