Sometimes when I translate, I have difficulty concentrating at home. I put things off, get distracted, find things to eat and do, wander around my apartment fiddling, and end up not getting much done. So I take myself and my laptop off to the nearest coffee shop, buy myself a large hot coffee, and settle down in a sofa area a little to one side. Even though there is noise and people and constant movement through the mall, I find it comforting and it centres me so I can concentrate and get things done very quickly. I do my best work there!
In ‘my’ little seating area there are often people who are not patrons of the coffee shop using the cosy corner sofa seating – elderly people having a rest, mothers breastfeeding. And groups of teenagers during school holidays.
I have to admit the teenagers – particularly boys aged 13 to 16 – often irritate me because they are in large groups and very loud and rowdy. They egg each other on and compete as to who can be the loudest and use the most profanities. They wrestle, play loud music on their phones, swear, talk about how drunk they are going to get etc etc.
When these rowdy groups break my concentration and distract me, I contemplate how all young animals growing into adulthood are the same. They push boundaries, compete with each other for control of their little herd. Ultimately the strongest and most dominant ones will become the alpha male. But there is always a young whippersnapper at their ankles, challenging their throne.
It is exactly the same with teenagers. We are all animals after all. We have to grow into adulthood and find our place among our peers by pushing boundaries. Usually with animals, their mothers smack them down, get them into line (you often see this in dominant breed puppies), and teach them manners when they get too big for their little boots. Hopefully the teenagers I see have parents providing boundaries and guidance at home.
I do find these funny though…and heave a sigh of relief that I grew up without social media. I could do and say embarrassing things without the world knowing about it forever!