The Coffee Couple

On our first morning mall-walking, my friend and I put our coats on the chairs around an empty table in the food court.  We didn’t know that this table would be used as the entire food court was empty.

When we came back for our coats, they were moved to the next table and an older couple was occupying our chairs and the table.  My friend wondered why they moved our coats instead of moving to another table.

Since then, I observed that the older couple would come to the mall around 7:30 every morning. They don’t come to walk like the rest of us. They go to the food court and sit at the same table in the same position every morning. In my rounds around the mall, I have never seen them moving around. They sit and have their coffee – every morning.


It’s evident that mobility is an issue as they walk slowly and laboriously to the food court.

If you are not observant, you can be judgmental. If you don’t know, you can be judgmental. If you don’t engage in conversations, you can be judgmental. When you talk, you learn. When you learn, you understand and when you understand you can no longer be judgmental.

Maybe they sat at that particular table because it was the first one they would reach in the food court.

Are they creatures of habit or necessity?

We all have reasons for everything we do and most times we know/feel that our actions are justified.


You are going the wrong way

I walk in the mall at 7am every day. Everyone walks like they drive –always on the right side. I sometimes do that. I sometimes also walk on the left side to deliberately jolt myself out of habit. We get into a rut when we always do things automatically.   

One morning as I was walking on the left side, a fellow mall walker brusquely informed me I was on the wrong side.  


Always evaluate your behavior, reaction, action to discover why it affects you this way.

There will always be someone to tell you when you are not conforming.

How you respond or react will teach you a lot about yourself – how grounded, aggressive, confrontational, passive you are. Did you react out of habit or was it a conscious act?

The action or non-action you take will show how strong your personal beliefs and convictions are.

Your actions will always have an impact on someone – even a stranger.

Your action or non-action can influence


TTC  - In Between Stations

When I'm on the subway, sometimes I observe, sometimes I write. What I consistently observe is that people don't smile. They are all very serious. Yes, we all have problems, challenges and concerns that could cause serious thoughts. But I sure there are more things in our lives to smile about. Why not share your happiness through a smile? It could start a conversation or a friendship.

Smile. It increases your face value. ( Unknown)

A smile is the universal welcome.  (Max Eastman)

(What better way to connect with our fellow TTC riders)

Everyone smiles in the same language.  (Unknown)

(So there will be no misunderstanding of what was meant)

People seldom notices old clothes if you wear a big smile. (Lee Mildon)

I learn a lot from riding the TTC. I learn that many people read, that many people prefer Sudoku than crossword (hmm, what does that mean?), that the stronger a relationship between people, the more lively and animated the conversations. I observe that certain facial expressions go hand in hand with certain communication styles. I see young lovers and old lovers, I see long-lasting friendships evident by the way old friends clutch each other for support when the train starts to move. I see thoughtfulness when others offer their seats to riders like these.  

When I'm so immersed in these observations, I barely notice the passage to my destination.