I’m on the train travelling home from London after a two day workshop. It’s time to read fiction and to let the mind wander. Normally I would have my headphones in but today I think I’ll listen to the world around me.
The suited man across the aisle from me is snoring. His white shirt is still adorned by a tie, but it’s warm in here and the collar is unbuttoned and the tie is loose. He’s the only person I can see who’s wearing a tie on this business dominated train as we hurtle through the countryside. He’s clinging on to his beaten-up blackberry and I wonder whether he’s set himself an alarm so that he wakes before his station. He looks strangely out of place in 2015.
The man behind him is tapping away on his iPhone and has been since we left Euston. What can be doing that’s taking so long to type, or perhaps he’s playing a game? I can’t see from here. His attire is more current with his casual shirt carrying its corporate logo.
I’m sat at a table with a much needed power supply that’s reinvigorating the various, barely adequate, batteries that my mobile technology utilizes. I’m wearing a shirt today, but haven’t worn a tie for business meetings for a long time.
Opposite me another businessman works his way through an over generous food bag as he watches rugby on his oversized bright blue laptop with his headphones in. I thought he was going to be a problem when I arrived; his bag, laptop, Kindle and Samsung Galaxy covered the whole table. Thankfully he soon constrained himself to his side of the table.
Behind me there’s a discussion between three businessmen and one businesswoman around another table. They’re in various logoed polo shirts and are trying to work out whether it would be possible to disappear in a modern world where the network knows your every move:
“You just can’t do anything without leaving a footprint somewhere.”
“Just imagine what Facebook already knows about you”
“How many different cameras have captured images of us today?”
The businesswoman isn’t too bothered about the thought of disappearing as she taps away on her pink-clad smartphone completely ignoring the men, who she clearly knows but has probably heard enough from already.
We are accompanied on our journey by a young Asian couple who are swapping stories and laughing as they pass each other their iPhones. They’re also plugged in trying to water the lithium. It’s hard to tell whether they are business people or on a tourist journey. Where would we be without flex?
There’s a cloud free sky outside and bails have been randomly scattered across the golden-brown fields. The sun is setting and the colours are a beautiful spectrum of oranges, yellows and blues. The sun will soon be set and I will soon be home.