April 23rd, 2007

Talking to Strangers II

Nathalie and I had just finished shopping when a woman asked Nathalie if she could borrow her phone. The woman didn't have her phone or any money.

Her story was that she and her husband were visiting from South Africa. They had a bit of a disagreement about directions, and ended up going their separate ways. After a while, she decided to go back to the corner where they split up, because she figured he would come look for her there. Not that this was something they agreed on, just a kind of vague hope.

So Nathalie ended up sending an SMS to the woman's phone and her husband's phone. After a few minutes of hanging around without any answer, we had a cup of coffee. After a cup of coffee we still hadn't heard back.

Fortunately, the woman knew how to get back to her hotel in Haarlem. We left her with €10 and directions on how to use the tram to get to Centraal Station. Nathalie got a text saying that the woman and her husband were reunited shortly after.

So what have we learned today?
  • People seem to attract others from their own country when they're abroad. (Or maybe there's just a lot of South Africans visiting Amsterdam.)

  • You don't need to plan, or really to think things through at all. Depend on the kindness of strangers. ;)
Technically this probably doesn't count as talking to strangers, because the woman approached us, and in fact it was Nathalie who started the conversation. But since I've been failing miserably on my resolution, I'll take it.
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