<< magazine top >>

Goldfishes in the opposite building

It must sound so strange, but I like watching other people's life. For instance, I'm interested in somebody in the window of opposite building. I often glance somebody's daily life which is glimpsed through the gap in the vertical space of the city.

In Hongkong, I could look over the opposite building across the Nathan Road from my room on the 15th floor. Because of the re-developing area, I saw a lot of vacant room in the building. However I could see the people's daily life in the lighted windows. A cauterization clinic, lawyer's office, apartment room of elder people... micro cosmoses scattering over the windows.

I had stayed in the room of Hongkong for just 4 days. But if you live in those situations for longer time, you can make "a window mate". For me who had not have experience living in a high story building in the city before, my apartment on the 8th floor in New York gave me the first one, for instance.
I could see the vacant room of the opposite building from my window. Before long, the room changed to a hair salon. A fat black woman cut the customer's hair having comb and scissors. Then it's back to vacant room before a year passed.
When I looked down the lower floor of the building, I saw a study of young couple's apartment. Every night when the husband was reading book at the desk, his wife brought him a coffee. Then she put her hand on his shoulder, and kissed him.
Looking a little bit farther away, I saw the window of office room. There were many book shelves in the room. Bunches of document files were piled up on the window side. And classic fan was placed beside it. It might be a library of company. But I had not known what the room was to the end.
Before long, I got communicate with the neighbors over the street. High adobe the busy street, our conversation was just small talk. However I had several window mates like this. Maybe we couldn't recognize each other if we met on the street. So we knew each other only in the window flame. I called them "Window mates"

I don't like heavy crowds in the city. City is too busy for human watching. However the other people's life which I can see from my window does not force me to look.
It's like glancing a goldfish in the basin. And a wonderful point of this goldfish watching is it makes me recognizing I am also a goldfish in the basin of big city.

May 2007

Today's piece
" Microcosmos " HongKong, China 2006

Winter Garden South, the trump card vol.2

fumikatz osada photographie