An hour spent people watching at Sé Metro station. What if anything, is unique about the São Paulo context?
Limited undertaking of activities such as reading, text messaging, and listening to music whilst waiting for or riding transport; the density of people at 16:00 on a friday; that the train pictured is pulling out of the station with many passengers still on the platform; separate platforms to enter and leave the train; that in culture with a high perceived risk of theft a number of bags are carried on people’s backs – essentially out of sight.
Engaging in tasks such as listening to music or reading send a signal to others that your senses are othewise engaged. What can be undertaken without drawing attention to the fact that a task is being carried out? What strategies do people use to avoid detection? How do these strategies change according to the context?
Sad to leave São Paulo, but good to be heading home to enjoy the Tokyo summer.