Sunday, April 21, 2013

the cluster effect

I sometimes wonder if city dwellers are so used to being surrounded by people that we have begun to feel comfortable only when near others.  SB and I can hike all the way out to Tai Long Wan and settle on a far section of the beach and invariably another couple will set up right next to us.

This afternoon we located a patch of grass in the Happy Valley recreation ground to throw the lacrosse ball back and forth and not ten minutes later a couple walked up with their small child and a soccer ball.    There was an entire soccer pitch to utilize but they wanted to be right next to us which meant that we could no longer be there because unlike the parents, we foresaw possible reasons why not to hurl a solid rubber ball next to a small child.

1 comment:

Gweipo said...

There is something called "parallel play" that toddlers engage in, and I think in HK people of all ages do it. We've seen the same thing at the beach when we lived there. Mum, dad, and baby / toddler / child / teenager would plonk down as close to you as possible, and then do the photo taking thing, the changing outfit thing, the playing and gushing thing. And all the time I'm thinking - you poor lonely child, just throw that darn ball in the direction of some other kids, my kids, any kids and immediately it would be fun for everyone.

But they're stuck in the parallel play mode. Perhaps that's why the marry and hello kitty and other soft toys feature so prominently in the wedding photos.