Any photographer will inevitably find themselves having to travel near and far for their jobs (unless you’re stuck in a studio day in, day out!). Geoff, my photography partner in crime, and I happen to travel quite a bit, with the craziest journey being one to Biarritz, France! Check that out on here.
Anyhow, as it happens we’ve got to know quite a few service stations alongside the bigger roads. It always fascinates me when we sit down for a cup of coffee and start watching people around us. It’s like being at an airport or a train station.
Everything stands still and yet there is so much going on all in one place. Two dark skinned guys sat just outside on a picnic table (on the table, not the stools), facing a large advertisement board and smoking a cigarette each.
A bus full of elderly people pouring out of it. Small gambling area with lost and forgotten boyfriends spending their last change as their partners have almost definitely gone to the ladies’ or dealing with kids, who keep pulling their mums towards the sweets section.
An older man alone (but not lonely?) enjoying his cup of coffee, looking around the coffee shop. A mum spending far too much, buying 3 pots of tea and 2 cappuchinos, crisps, sandwiches and sweets, but what can you do, service stations will always be busy because we all need to eat, drink and use the restroom.
Where are these people going to and where they have come from? The possibilities are endless, and it’s likely we’ll never guess the right answer.
Today our conversation steered towards restrooms… If you’re a woman reading this, you will have noticed a variety of female orientated adverts or campaigns in front of you as you close the door of your toilet stall. In airports we see ones talking about human trafficking, giving anonymous helpline numbers to call. Today, in the service station we had a campaign asking to donate for girls and women in Africa, living in war torn countries and with limited resources.
Not only the political and economical turmoil is what they have to endure, but what happens when the most natural thing happens and their period starts? What happens to a young girl who’s never had it before, and where will she get the money from to look after her hygiene if she has not got enough for food?
The type of adverts I’ve lately noticed are aimed at emergencies, at tackling abuse and crime. All for a good cause.
Now, what about men’s restroom? Do theirs talk about making sure they get themselves checked for prostate cancer? Is it about life insurance?
Nope. Apparently, according to Geoff, the type of adverts men get are humorous Viagra ads. Two guys stood at urinals, facing the wall and clearly holding their manhood, while the third guy cheekily has his hands on hips and does not need to hold anything at all.
Our Service Station Stories are sure to continue at some point, because our job will take us all over the place, and so will our conversations…