Just to prove I am not occasionally averse to speaking to people…
On Sunday we went for a walk up the Rock. It’s always handy having a nature reserve with spectacular views five minutes walk away up the back streets.
Being a Sunday it was pretty busy with tourists all gazing in fascination at the monkeys.
On the way back down we bumped into some Spaniards, who it seemed had got the cable car to the top, and were now walking back down so they asked us if they were going the right way. We said yes, and started chatting with them about their day out and trip up the Rock.
They had obviously enjoyed themselves – even though one woman was horrified at the height and the steepness of the Rock, plus the interminable steps on the way down from the top. We were laughing and joking as she said that she hadn’t realised she was going on a hiking expedition and that she had lost at least 20 kilos – which she said she wanted to lose anyway.
So we wandered down together in a loose group, sometimes talking together in Spanish, and sometimes we chatted on our own in English, while they spoke to each other in Spanish.
There was no obligation to keep speaking to each other. And that’s the advantage of meeting strangers, and walking in a group. You can talk when you want, and be quiet when you want too.
Sort of like living in a city. Surrounded by people but so easy to keep your own sense of privacy.