Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A Happy Place – Not What You Might Think!

I started writing this blog in a dentist surgery waiting for an appointment to get a filling. I was in early as I had an early appointment before work. I got there early because:

A: I did not know how long it would take to get here and;
B: A phobia of being late for anything!

I started wring this blog to drown out the noise of the drills and the thought of pain and panic of the injection ahead. Also to take-away the thought of constant pain afterwards that will make my teeth ache much more than they ever did before I came to the dentists in the first place!

I noticed there were many children’s’ books for reading to cover various new experiences such as: “Lucy Moves House”, “Katy Goes to Hospital” and “George Goes to the Airport”. There was nothing to help and support adults through the possible pain they will go through having to go to the dentist! I was tempted to read one but I thought I would get some strange looks! Plus if I started one and they called me in I would want to finish it, and I would want to read the whole series! My mind drifted to better places and places I would rather be. My mind wondered to being in a motorway service station …

I think a motorway service station is like a little version of the country as a whole. They are fantastic places full of life and always full of different characters. When I am there I love to people watch and put myself in their shoes. You may think it odd to enjoy such a place, but despite maybe not enjoying the place a number of differing people always end up there.

The different people I have enjoyed watching do various things in motorway service stations include:
·         People who want to save money, they have brought their own sandwiches and eat them outside just to have a break from driving.
·         People who want to stuff food into their mouths for energy and enjoy a nine piece fry up for £6.99 or some food from a well-known fast food company.
·         People who want to just sit and drink coffee and have a break from driving in silent reflection.
·         People who want to stretch their legs and walk around.
·         People that have been in a car, coach, bus or bike for hours and need to get some fresh air - They get out and light up a cigarette!
·         People who walk quickly, but do not run as not to draw attention to themselves - their eyes darting everywhere seeking out a desperate visit to the toilet!

Motorway service stations think of everything that people may need and much more including:

·         Massage chairs
·         Fruit machines for people who need a gambling fix
·         Weighing scales in case people think they have lost weight from driving
·         Business card making machines in case someone has come up with a great business idea whilst driving
The possibilities are endless!
People may mock my love of motorway service stations but a lot of people use them and I am sure everyone has been in one at least once in their life.  People complain about the extremely expensive prices but people need to have a break when traveling a long way. I think this is a bit like life. I know people use them as a way to re-assure themselves that they are almost at their destination. People use them habitually as they always stop at the same place to mark a point in a journey if they are regular travellers on the same route. People also use them to meet people and drop off and pick other people. They are a little version of the country!

I do not have a favourite motorway service station as thankfully I do not have to do much travelling but I love to sit in these places and stare at people. They will never see me again so what does it matter! I love to watch others and their behaviours and their interactions with others; Interactions with their travelling companions and with members of staff that work there!

I once worked in a motorway service station and it was one of my first jobs when I was just sixteen. I found people on the whole generally nice, as they were just relieved to have some different people to talk to or just a change from the journey. There were a few grumpy people who were tired from long trips but on the whole I found people who came to my place of work all very different. They were all looking for slightly different things out of the experience. In a way - just like life. My job in the motorway service station was to work on the hot plate serving breakfasts and also to clear tables. Both jobs were extremely hard physical work and we were always very busy. I would not go back and do the job again – Then again I might as I loved watching the people!

There were all sorts of people including:
·         Old people off a coach out on a trip,
·         Young families with babies staring around the amazing different faces,
·         Couples with young children and the children looking at things to spend their newly acquired or last of their holiday money on,
·         Couples dating and visiting some relatives – sometimes for the first time,
·         Groups of men going down the motorway to a football match,
·         Groups of girls going on a hen weekend,
·         School children on a school trip and;
·         Business colleagues going off to a meeting – To name but a few!

In conclusion they are great places to see people living and resting from the journey of not only their trip, but also their life. People who are not interested in other people’s lives and journeys are bored with life and that is very sad. I cannot think of anywhere else that illustrates life in such a way!

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