"Your neighbour is doing a big construction."

I am always amazed how people I don’t know, or don’t know well, seem to know so much about me. It is not as if I go about advertising myself or trying to draw attention to myself, but nonetheless, people always surprise me by seeming to know more about me than I would expect.

Case in point: as I paid for my gas before heading home for Montreal, the attendant, an elderly gentleman whom I only know from the gas station 2 blocks from my house in Ottawa, said to me: "Your neighbour is doing a big construction."

Yes, it is true, the neighbour across from me is doing a major renovation of his home, however, I do not expect this gas station attendant to know where I live.

While I do live two blocks from the gas station, it is not line of sight (it is 1 block, 90 degree turn, another block). The gas station only came into being after Sofia and the kids relocated to Montreal. I come home late, I don’t hang around the neighbourhood, nor am I there on the weekends.

These types of incidents only further reinforce the notion that I am somehow not plugged into the general happenings around me. It seems people have underlying social connections that I am totally unaware of. All my life, I am the one left wondering what happned because I certainly did not see the group moving in one direction. It reminds me of a story a deaf friend related to me about taking aerobics classes, she said it was difficult because she could not hear the music or instructions, so she had to follow what the people were doing, but they would unexpectedly change direction and she would be left trying to follow them.

NOTE: there is nothing flashy about my car, it is a fairly basic charcoal grey Mazda 3.

NOTE 2: for those who don't know it is 170Km (about 100 miles) from the door of the house in Ottawa to the door of the house in Montreal.

Image nabbed from here.


Coffee fairy said…
perhaps you're a regular customer that he knows your car's plate number by heart and has happened to see your car in front of your house or you pulling up to your garage when he was going around the town once time or better yet, he is a psychic disguised as a gas attendant. :)
Ah, the old small town syndrome! Doesn't surprise me in the least. People know what's happened to you even before you do!
freckled-one said…
I'm sort of the same way. There are people that will come up and talk to me...and I have no clue who they are. It's no fun going through life knowing that there are others out there paying attention to what you're doing.
Richard said…
coffee fairy: I am a fairly regular customer, but, nevertheless, it is still disquieting.

MOI: I lived for a few years in a small town called Williamstown and experienced the small town mentality. The intersting thing is that unless you have been there 200 years or so, you will always be considered an outsider.

freckled-one: it often seems to me that some people spend a lot of time discretely studying other people. I imagine people hiding behind their curtains spying out at the world outside.
Yes, that's true. Is Williamstown in the Ottawa Valley? My maiden name is Williams and all my relatives are from the Ottawa area.
Prince Romp said…
Perhaps, the gas attendant is actually your neighbour whose his house is under construction. hee..

Hey..u have a cool Japanese car too.
b said…
Hmph. Strange. It is interesting...what makes people take notice of someone that isn't going out of their way to stand out? I don't know that it is so much the fact that you are not in tune with your surroundings where this gas station attendant is concerned though. I would be more perplexed and slightly weirded out than anything.

By the way, how do you like your mazda 3? I have rented one before and recall enjoying it. Right now my rental car is a Mazda 6 and it is a fun car to drive...powerful and agile! I need to get a car when I return to Paris and I'm looking at various options. Okay, weird question...I realize! :-)
Richard said…
breal: I preferred my Mazda Protege - it had a larger trunk openning, more leg room in the back and better visibility out the sides and back.

On the other hand, the Mazda 3 has far better fuel economy (which is a good thing since I have logged over 51,000Km these past 13 months).

Popular Posts