Talking to Strangers
If we were having coffee #WeekendCoffeeShare
I would tell you that I went to a gathering with my old classmates from what we in Denmark call the “Gymnasium”. Graduation from that school gave access to the University. We graduated 46 years ago, and some of them I saw for the first time since then. We have met three times now since 2010. I was very nervous before that first meeting, but this time I managed quite good though I didn’t get too much of the perfect conversations due to noise and laughter. I suppose that I should just accept that in group gatherings, conversations are superficial and random.
On my way through Copenhagen to the restaurant, I took up the challenge which I found with Vincent Mars on his blog “The Boy With the Hat” who inspired me to go ahead talking to strangers when a possibility comes up. Vincent gives ten reasons why you should give it a try. I did it at least twice on this occasion.
The first scene is at the Metro in Copenhagen. The train was full of people, but I succeeded to find a seat. I sat beside a mother with her baby carried on her, and I tried a few times to get in contact with the 6 months old. It’s not very difficult, but I hadn’t too much success. I arose to get off but understood it was one station too early. Then I just told the mother that I mistook the station and started a conversation on her having her baby who was sitting with his face towards her. I said I was glad to see that he turned that way so he could see her clearly. She agreed and said that he had been confused turning outwards.
I told her that I had carried my oldest son like she did and that it was his 36th birthday today. For his birthday, I had found the old diary notes from his first years and re-written them for him to know his early days with me. I only needed to find the photos to match the text. She liked to hear that I felt the time with small babies were precious and worth remembering.
It was time to get off the metro, and I had this satisfied feeling of having had a short but pleasant conversation.
The next scene was in a compartment store looking for a new winter coat. I had left the classmate gathering before getting exhausted and wanted to take a look at different shops in Copenhagen. We had summer weather in September, so it is a bit strange to try warm woollen coats on. The girl working there was so kind and found a lot for me to try without any regret that I didn’t buy any. Our conversation had been pleasant because her kindness was genuine.
I enjoy conversations I have a one-to-one, but gatherings around meals or meetings are very stressing because I find it hard to be heard by all and even the one I sit together with is not that interested in my life. I am an introvert, but only when placed in a group of people. The subjects talked about are only enjoyable for a very few.
So how do you make a gathering meaningful?
Thank you, Diana, for your link to share on the Weekend Coffee Share event where I have met new friends in the blogging sphere even Canadian Mike Long who is my co-blogger from France.
Here some photos and the sound of church bells ringing from the day in Copenhagen]