It turns out that your neighbor on the plane/bus/train (or the person sitting at the next table at the coffee shop) is a very, very chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats, go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
Well, somehow people like that always seem to target me for some reason. If I’m out shopping they come up to me and ask for anything; ATMs, shops, general directions.
And I have no idea why. Many people told me that my ‘normal’ face makes me look quite angry, even though I’m in a good mood. So why do they target me? There must be something they see that’s making them feel at ease. Or I’m always smiling, even though I don’t notice…
Generally I give them the directions the want, tell them where it is they’re looking for. At the registers in supermarkets I always let people with very few items got first if I have a lot. But I’m not afraid to ask if I can go first if a new register opens and I have only a few items. I only do this if the person in front of me has a cart full of stuff. Otherwise I’ll wait. And many times the person in front of me asks if I want to go first and starts chatting. Most of the times it’s about health, deaths or other things that seem to be related with my job. I don’t know how they think telling me personal stuff is okay, but they somehow always do.
I don’t mind in places like that. I can get out relatively quick. But if this was to happen on a plane I’d be doing my “I’m asleep” impression, which I’ve perfected! I’ve had this happen a couple of times and people always thought I was sleeping. It made a very, very chatty aunt of my mother shut up for more than 2 hours. Her husband and his sister (my grandmother) were very thankful for that 🙂