Chrissa Reed
24. 04. 2015

When all you want is a little slice of Anonymity

Kungsträdgården by Lisa Widerberg

Image by Lisa Widerberg

I live in a country town. And let me tell you, there are benefits to living in a quiet, country town.

The lack of traffic, for example. The relative ease in getting from place to place – especially when it can take all of five minutes to get from one side of town to the other.

But one of the things I sometimes find a little hard reconciling myself with in living in a regional location is the general lack of anonymity you have.

Oh, I how I miss you Anonymity. How I long for you, how I wish I could just reach for you, especially when I turn down an aisle at the IGA and realise that yes, it is too late to turn around because that person has already spotted me and it would look way too obvious if I spun around and backed away now.

It actually turns out that I am not the only one who does that – skip aisles, that is.

A number of people have confided in me that they too will often avoid going down a particular aisle if they don’t feel like talking to a certain person they spot. Because in a country town, you cannot simply walk past a person and barely acknowledge them. Oh, no. That would be something that only Rude, City People do.

And if you have happened to have met said spotted person on say, more than one occasion in the past, a simple smile and hello will not suffice. Rather, an in depth conversation upon which various tid bits of information about each others’ lives will be exchanged (often with much embellishment and exaggeration) or, when all else fails, the weather is always a fail safe topic.

A friend who hails from the city and falls into the extrovert category (which subsequently seemed to make the transition from city to country town living relatively easy) once said that whenever she goes downtown for an errand, she’ll calmly anticipate that her errands will take an extra hour than what would normally be expected. Why? Because of all the people she will no doubt run into.

Now, if by now, you are starting to think that I at times, avoid going downtown like the plague, well, then, your thoughts are probably not too far misplaced.

However, the journalist in me compels me to throw some objectivity into this tale. And that is, that having no privacy anonymity in a country town is not necessarily a bad thing. At least not all the time, anyway.

In fact, my mother, who lives near a country town actually loves the fact that when she walks down the street, there are a number of familiar faces who will not only say hello, but strike up a conversation. My mother loves this. It no doubt makes her feel part of a community. And goodness knows, a sense of community is one of those things that we probably haven’t protected very well in this modern world.

So I am left with mixed feelings. On one hand, I see the upmost value and importance there is in that elusive thing called community, but on the other hand, there are times when all I really want to do is to just duck downtown and buy a loaf of bread, and all the while be completely anonymous.

24. 04. 2015

Image by Sean McGrath

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I have been looking forward to starting this blog for quite some time. You would think that starting a blog is quite an easy, run of the mill thing to do. Especially for someone who has actually run a website before. But sometimes, cyberspace has a way of turning what should be simple into rather complicated.

I guess that’s technology for you…

But alas, I am here at last and I have finally found my way to my new blog.

Phew. So thanks for stopping by!

First of all, you should probably know this about me: I love to write.

Writing is probably one of my favourite ways to express myself, my thoughts, my opinions, my questions, my experiences, my musings.

So you can expect to see a fair bit of that here! While I like to write in quite a few different genres, I’ll be writing in mainly a column / commentary style here. Just so you know.

At least that’s the plan.

Anything could happen.

So stay tuned!

And you’ll here from me soon.

Chrissa