Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mini Mission # 14 - Chat with an old person

Doesn't this Bavarian man look helpful?
Via Fotocommunity
Age is relative - but generally, the older the wiser. In my experience, the older generation is always very pleased to chat - at the supermarket in line for checkout, on the street when asking for directions, at a museum while strolling through an exhibit. It might be intimidating at first, since very often older folks don't speak English (you won't even have to say no!) but these are the people you want to be talking to - they have the best stories, the greatest sense of humor, and can tell you all about the "good old days".

For this mission, chat up an older person - you get to decide what qualifies as old, but I'd say go for someone that looks like they are at least at retirement age. What to say? Well, a good gateway is often to offer help. Hold a door, carry groceries, pick up a dropped item, and then reminisce for a few minutes how the days of chivalry are long gone. Or just smile and comment on the weather. Or ask directions. Pull all your small talk tricks out of the bag! You can do it, use the local language, struggle through, smile and nod, and then give yourself a BIG pat on the back.

Did you chat with someone? Tell your story!

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