Perhaps one of the reasons I love to travel, is that I feel more welcome to inquire. I ask more questions, because that is what people expect of me. I love people. No doubt about it. I love listening to their stories, learning about their lives. And when I don’t have the opportunity to ask them questions, I make up stories in my head.
On this adventure … I have met a woman who works at the Zoo. She helped me when I was lost on the trains and went too far. She will be 70 this weekend. Her son is a Fellow at Columbia University, she would love to visit America.
I met a woman who lives in Austria who wanted to see the stained glass windows painted by Chagall at the Frau Munster. We both arrived too late. She chose to take a 9hr train ride rather than fly. She has a daughter too who wants to visit NYC to “shop”. I told her that I would email her photos of the windows if I could sneak a picture. I went back the next day. Tight security – no way I could take photos. So I bought her postcards of the breathtaking windows instead. I will mail them to her on Monday.
I met the owner of a tea shop. She is shy about her English. She is going on “holiday” to the Alps this weekend. Her husband goes to Chicago on business quite a lot. When she accompanied him, she said the people there would not help her when she was lost. She asked me if I was buying so much tea because I was a “restaurant”. I told her “no”. I have a pregnant friend 😉 . When we kissed on the cheek goodbye, I learned that there are three kisses on the cheeks here. I love it!
I have the uncanny ability, it would seem, to land anywhere and connect with people … usually they are helping me. Sometimes, I think I must have this utterly perplexed look on my face, totally lost, totally in need of saving. But sometimes, maybe people just know that I want to listen to them. I want to get to know them. I want to know where they’ve been, what they like and don’t like, and where they are going.
The iphone is so ideal for trips such as this. I can take photos and videos without anyone feeling self conscious or giving me the “death to tourists” look … I am trying to blend here. To hide in the corners and observe.
Here are a few photos … of some that I have observed … and some that I have befriended…