Plucking up the courage to engage


I think I may try to talk to someone tomorrow.

This is a nerve-wracking prospect and I should plan my approach. Ideas currently under review include:

  • checking what my neighbour (or someone suitably close with a book rather than a paper) is reading and jovially creating a conversation related to the book. Provided I have read it. Or not, it’s always good to practice the art of the blag
  • wearing a prominent “I heart Obama” type badge/t-shirt/sandwich board and hoping this will provoke someone else to engage me in conversation
  • using the inevitable stumble into a stranger on the way out of Peckham Rye to begin a friendly-type conversation. While hoping the stranger doesn’t assume this is a come-on.
  • praying that God might provide an opportunity to engage my neighbour in conversation. This could be done out-loud while in the train carriage, but success would be slightly less assured.

It may be that the morning commute is a less welcoming environment than the one home, I shall use tomorrow morning to guage the climate.

Sara Miles in her talk on Glorifying the Stranger says that one of the best way to welcome strangers is to include them, to give them something to do. Unfortunately the commute welcomes strangers by inviting them to stand or sit in studied silence. I would be working against this norm. I would be a commuter heretic.

How exciting.


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