conversations with strangers #1

i’ve linked to this site before (which is now defunct, so CLICK HERE to meet the original inventor of conversations with strangers), but i can’t stop thinking about it, so i’ve decided to conduct my own “conversations with strangers” research.

without further ado:

i reached the bus stop and stopped outside of the waiting area to enjoy the scare April sunshine. a woman was already there perusing the posted schedule.

a few seconds later, i saw a movement in my peripheral vision, turned, and found this woman looking at me expectantly. “excuse me,” she said.

i removed my ipod ear bud because a really loud song was on and while i could see her lips moving, i couldn’t hear her over the treble. (i was a little worried because she looks lost and frankly, i’m not the girl to help her. i’m horrible with directions on a good day, but also, this shuttle bus is linked to a big name university. i don’t go there, i just work there and so don’t know the ins and outs of the campus like i should or like it appeared i do considering i’m waiting for the bus.)

“i need to get to radcliff quad,” she said. “is this the right place for the shuttle?”

i smiled because YES, I KNOW THIS. “yup. you’ll need to get on the quad express route.”

“great! thanks!” she said.

she still looked a bit confused and i suppose i could have followed up with some questions about where she was going, but i was afraid it would lead to topics i didn’t have answers for and then i’d feel bad i brought it up in the first place. i guess all i could do was leave one ear bud out in case she had more questions as we waited for the same bus.

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4 Responses to “conversations with strangers #1”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    I think you did the right thing. If you’d asked a follow-up question, you may have just confused her more. As it is, you told her what she needed to know, and that was plenty. :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      there is a VERY valid chance i might have confused her more, so i too think it was best to keep my lips sealed…

  2. adriana Says:

    I’m not big on talking to strangers either. The other day on my way to work somebody asked me how to get to Harvard Square, and I was so glad I could help them! Whew, that was an easy one :) But people in cars often ask me about parking or how to get to Storrow drive or some place, and I have no clue, since I don’t drive :)

    I notice, though, that sometimes I have the inexplicable urge to talk to strangers. It happens very rarely, but it happens… Like, the cash register at the liquor store, or confused out-of-towners on the T… I usually do act on it when it happens, and most often I end up regretting it :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      it’s a fine line this talking to strangers business. but, i’m hoping it’ll enhance my overall conversation skills in that i’m not full of awkward pauses and weird silences.

      and, if someone uncouth comes up to you, you also have the luxury of speaking in bulgarian and pretending you don’t speak english better than they do!

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