THOSE STRANGERS YOU MEET ON THE ROAD… OR ELSEWHERE.
2ND EPISODE – ABOUT FLIRTING & INSPIRATION
“Don’t you dare to speak to strangers!” We’ve all been hearing this, especially during childhood. Because strangers are unknown, and unknown is scary, filled up with bad intentions, particularly with those fizzing candies and long raincoats. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, for it’s actually a good piece of advice for kids, whom are innocents and don’t really know about mistrust, carefulness, and well, who knows what could happen to a helpless kid? However… I’m wondering why this piece of advice stays stuck within us once we grew up. Is it right? Aren’t we doing too much being so cold and distrustful towards strangers? What’s going to happen if we step up, just a little, out of our comfort bubble?
Here, I’ll try to prove from A to Z how it can be really awesome sometimes to let yourself go and talk to strangers, to trust them a little and moreover to take some time to… Just speak and get to know them.
While travelling, you often get some random acts of kindness. Maybe because you’re more up to it, more open to it, and also more dependent on it. Here, I wanted to share some of those encounters with strangers, some of those acts of random kindness, some great surprises I had with strangers, and therefore what I learned from it. I’ve got plenty of little stories that I’d like to share and write about. I hope this little saga will have the advantage of bringing a different, yet optimistic glance upon our world.
I’m telling you, folks. You can talk to strangers. That’s pure happiness.
ALONG THE L’ILL RIVER, STRASBOURG, FRANCE
I was walking back home in the freezing Strasbourg’s cold. I could even feel that cold makes its way through my woollen gloves. Winter was about to be very intense for sure. Maybe there would even be some snow coming soon?
I was smiling, maybe I was even hopping/dancing with the music as I was walking. I was probably still a bit pissed with Glühwein (which is mulled wine, and seriously you have to try it.) I had spent a wonderful night with my friends, and even some Couchsurfers at the Christmas Market. I couldn’t have been happier on that night, the city was sparkling with its Christmas lights, I was slightly drunk, and it had been a really lovely evening.
So, as I’m walking and hopping, this guy calls out for me. Usually, I won’t stop because if someone is approaching you in the middle of the night in Strasbourg, it’ll be most probably some creepy guy asking you out or calling you names because your skirt is too short. However, I’m in such a fine mood that I stop for him. The young man asks me for a cigarette, which I give to him, and then starts his flirting talk by asking me my age, if I’m single, what do I do for a living, if I live in Strasbourg, etc. It’s way too easy to recognise his pick-up lines. I’m surprised though for he seems really young. Am I so wrapped up in my winter clothes that he didn’t notice that I’m at least 5 years older than him (it might be 10, actually, but shhh don’t make me feel like a granny, okay?)
Don’t ask me why, but I get caught up into this. I have time, I’m in no hurry to get back home in my sadly empty bedroom, I’m a bit drunk, I’m in a playful mood. But instead of playing his romantic game, I start to talk about my recent journey to New Zealand and my wishes for an upcoming travel. I don’t really how to answer his questions anyway for I’m not really sure I know what I’m doing for a living and where I leave. The flirting talk is taking an unexpected turn: Jason, sports trainer, after spending 18 months in jail, has plenty of dreams in store. Nothing is holding him back, he says. He’d like to come with me, he adds.
I burst into laughter, and talk and talk about the New Zealand’s landscapes, about how easy it can be to travel once you make your mind about it. He tells me about London, Egypt, and those little dreams he has secretly stored in his heart. I can tell that he’s drunk too, Jason, for he’s sharing his secrets with any random woman that comes along in the streets. I’m smiling though, and tells him he has no idea how easy it can be to make your dreams come true as long as you’re brave enough to dare. And I’m insisting on him, yeah, mate, come on, go for it, go and grab your balls and everything’s will be alright.
The cold start to bite my bones more and more, so I leave behind me a smiling Jason. I think I made his night. And it still makes me happy, you know, thinking that I might have had inspired the young man. Who knows, he might even buy some plane tickets to go to London tomorrow.
As I’m walking fast on that night, trying to warm myself up, I start to remember. That I should stop worrying about what’s coming next.
I take a deep breath and that’s settled. My wanderlust dreams cannot wait any longer. I will move away again very soon. I have to. (Go to Taiwan.)