If you’ve ever taken a stroll down Grafton Street, you’ll be familiar with ‘human directionals’: the people who hold signs pointing down the quieter lanes just off the main thoroughfare.
Sign Of The Times is a documentary that gives an insight in the lives of these signs holders. Filmmaker Stephen Rogers told TheJournal.ie: “Our goal with this particular film was to give a voice to the sign holders you pass everyday on the main shopping streets of Dublin.”
The documentary tells the stories of three sign holders: Houston Mathews from Malawi, Sandip Patel from India, and Felipe Medeiros from Brazil.
It’s Felipe who told of a brief romantic encounter he experienced while on the job, and it’s a little heartbreaking.
You know, when you're holding a signpost girls don't look at you at all. It's not like you're a doctor or a lawyer. It's not really attractive just holding a stick.
But one day this girl stood beside me and she was looking at me and I was like, 'What does this girl want? She wants information or something'.
Then she asked me, "Can I stay with you for a while? Do you mind?" I was like, "What? Of course you can stay here".
She stayed there chatting to me from half 2 to 7 o’ clock. I thought it was a prank, I was looking around to see cameras. It had to be a prank.
So I finished work at 7, put the sign away. I came back down and she was waiting for me. We went around the city talking. She was an Irish blonde girl, very pretty. Gorgeous. I kissed her and it was amazing. But she didn't give me her phone number or anything. She came into my life and just disappeared.
I was holding a sign. I never would have expected that, a beautiful girl coming up to you, talking to you for five hours, kissing you and just going away. You'll never see her again. And you're just going to think about that all of your life.
You can watch Sign Of The Times in full below (you’ll find Felipe’s story at 2.30).