Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The neighbors we meet


Winging it
Pacific Ocean, Eastbound, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]


When you're sitting in a tube made of alloy for 15 hours, accompanied by hundreds of people who don't speak your language, you find yourself finding little ways to amuse yourself. Regular readers of my blog already know that at some point, I'm going to pull out my camera. This trip - back from China - was no different.

This image, captured just as the sun rose off our port side, was the one that helped me connect with my neighbour. Doris was a middle-aged Chinese-Canadian from Toronto on her way home from visiting her father in Harbin. As soon as I took this image, she asked me about the pictures I take, and asked to see the ones I already had stored on the camera. I gave her a quick slide show.

Thankfully, I didn't bore her: She pulled her own camera out - a Nikon, yay! - and shared the pictures of her family. Every picture had a story, and she smiled from within as she shared each one. We chatted for a while, and she tutored me expertly in holding chopsticks when our meals came.

Funny how miles above a desolate ocean so far from home, I briefly made a complete stranger's day, all because I decided to take a picture or two (or more...) She made my day, too.

Your turn: Ever had a complete stranger give you an impromptu slide show? Do you have a stranger-type travel story you'd like to share?

12 comments:

Stacy said...

I was traveling by myself in China, and was buying a bus ticket to my old town where our family used to live. It's a long ride (7 hrs) and I had readied myself for a long trip. I usually sat in the very front seat, because in those rural buses, you could be sitting next to pigs and chickens, and the buses always stopped to pick up additional passengers. They would stand in the aisles and everything. Another lady bought a ticket right after me, and she sat in the seat directly behind me. Kind of like a jump seat. She was from Portugal, had been studying Chinese in Beijing, was working on her Master's on the culture of the Mosuo people in Yunnan. One of my best friends and favorite cooks in my town (her name was also Doris!) was married to a Mosuo man. The girl from Portugal and I made a great connection. And she was able to stay with a real (non-touristy) Mosuo family to study. How exciting. I never heard from her again. I did take her picture, and treated her to a great meal at Doris', then she went off on her adventure. I would love to meet back with her sometime and see if it all worked out for her!

Star said...

Here is my story about meeting someine on a plane.

http://wedsoff.com/2005_02_01_wedsarchive.html#110754343234045288

Every once in a while I wonder how her trip to Phill was.

tommiea said...

Usually it is just the kids asking to see the picture I have just taken. But many people do ask about the camera when we are at the park and out and about. They always ooh and ahh over it.

craziequeen said...

I think I mentioned before I don't talk to strangers, being rather a nervous type :-(

There is the birth of a storm on my blog today, luckily I got to take all the photos as the weather deteriorated.... :-)

cq

raehan said...

That's such a nice story. How lucky both of you were to have sat next to each other.

Tabor said...

I have a nice story where I was actually taken out to dinner by my hotel wait staff. It was the end of a long day of missed connections and other events in Thailand. I will write a blog about it...someday. There is nothing that will bring about peace in this world faster than meeting others people and realizing they are 'just like us.'

Chad Oneil said...

Hey Carmi, I'm posting again, so come on over to my blog.

D.O.M. Dan said...

Well, it's not a very interesting story, but . . .

The last time I traveled on business I sat next to someone who - by coincidence - I happened to sit across from on the return flight home. Neither one of us talked to the other (she was busy working both directions, and I tried to nap). I just thought it was strange becuase I wasn't supposed to be on that return flight; I caught an earlier one.

On a different business flight, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a loud obnoixous drunk.

Michael Manning said...

This was a unique story. THe closest one I have concerned a girl who was listening to a new CD. We began chatting and soon discovere a mutual love of music. I had not heard of Kyle Minogie, so she asked if I cared to listen? I took her up on it and we had a cool conversation. She expanded my horizons!

Beverly said...

I think that is so neat. Photos really do it. I enjoy showing off photos of Ella, my granddaughter. That often brings great conversations!

CG said...

I have chatted to some great people on planes. However, the one i remember the best is a man sitting next to me and P on a flight back to Manchester from NYC. He was a complainer...had the flight attendent over by the minute, fuss fuss fuss. He even complained about the DESIGN of the tray his meal was served on! As if the poor woman could alter THAT mid-Atlantic. The final straw was that he spent the ENTIRE flight silently and pungently breaking wind. the smells were so strong I could almost see them coming.....

Mike said...

Great story Carmi. I love talking to older people. They are such a rich warehouse of knowledge and stories. They are not as caught up in themselves as the younger people are.