I’m not afraid to tell you that moving to Sydney gave me a social shock. In a city that moves fast – and stylishly I might add – it wasn’t long before I noticed everyone on the train totally ignoring each other.
We were all huddled into this train carriage, sleepy and hatefulto our alarm clocks. Now we were forced to stand together, trying desperately to avoid eye contact. Most people were on their I-phones talking to other, far more attractive people, miles away. The whole situation seemed utterly stupid. The worst thing is, when a woman showed the courage one day to break this social fix and speak to me – I wasn’t really sure how to respond.
Polite – Of course.
Short – Yes.
It was as though I had forgotten how to function as a human being and …talk.
I confess, there are mornings when I’d prefer not to be bothered and cut off with my headphones.
At first Sydney was a city to explore and communicate in. It was easy, too. Being a tourist allows this sort of conversational fling with people – you have grounds to talk and leave. Now though, Sydney is a city I live in and the task of communicating with other Sydneysiders is one of speculation. It’s not that people won’t talk, it’s just seems to be a case of social timing, social etiquette and of course location. Why would I talk to a stranger just because we’re heading in the same direction? Because otherwise the journey is really bloody boring. That’s why. Plus the stranger happens to be tall athletic and handsome.
A friend of mine has a dear Mum who commutes to work in the UK. After doing this for a decade she’s found a small group of ladies that catch the same train every morning and these people have become friends. They even meet outside the train stop, wining and dining in the small sphere of Hampshire. Isn’t that lovely? And here I am, digitally able to communicate to you all and I can’t even roll up a decent conversation on the train with a mere mortal.
If I’m brave enough, I might just change this. Care to join me? Maybe we could start with a smile?