Talking to a stranger

Engaging in conversation with strangers is really fascinating sometimes. I really, really enjoy it. It usually starts with a casual remark that leads to a question or two and sooner than you realise you’re seeing the world through someone else’s eyes.

For me, it usually happens when I’m waiting for something, and I just start chatting with someone near me. Today, for example, I was waiting for some documents and started talking to this Brazilian lady who was getting ready to join her husband in the Netherlands.

She told me she was going in October, and that her initial plan was to go with one airline, but they started charging extra per luggage so she decided to go with another one, which would result in a 26-hour layover in Atlanta.

Now, traveller-me was already imagining ‘What can one do in Atlanta in 26 hours? Is there a lot of things to see there?’. My mind went full speed, when she said ‘I’ll take the time to catch some Pokemon, you know, in the Northern Hemisphere’.

I don’t know what shocked me the most - that someone was still playing Pokemon Go or that anyone would consider going into a new city and not properly explore.

I was so taken aback I couldn’t be but fascinated.

Maybe her words would not have the same effect on other people, but for me they made an impression. It’s so often we listen to reply rather than to understand - I was already thinking of what tips I could give her about Atlanta. But her statement surprised me so much there was no way for a reply, just silence to absorb the words - and the world - of a complete stranger.

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