Thursday, June 18, 2009

Does this happen to anyone else?

I was rather consciously minding my own business on the way to the shops, trying to remember the specifics of something I planned to cook. A man loitered, he approached, he asked me if this was Marrickville. Yes. Was I sure, this doesn’t really look like Marrickville. California bungalows, numerous black-clad ancient Greek and Italian women, a plane with landing gear down and moving fast, and the entrance to Marrickville Metro about a hundred metres away. It certainly looked like Marrickville to me. So yes, yes, I was sure. And where’s Newtown. That way, I pointed, I paused and moved on. The weather’s really funny today, isn’t it? Intermittent rain, cold, a little windy; a winter’s day reminiscent of childhood winters. This is how winter in Sydney is supposed to be, don’t let climate change fool you, don’t let the years of perverse weather fool you, this is how it’s meant to be. It’s…okay. Non-committal, he’ll go away now. Walk on. So what have you been doing today? Not much. Walk on. Day off? Something like that. Walk on. So what do you do for a living? Fed up now and trying to shake the oddity. Does it really matter? Walk off. I’m going in here now. Walk to the shops and don’t look back. And the voice following in a whine: I was only trying to make conversation…

These things always bother me a little. Is this really how people interact? Am I so odd in not wanting to get involved? First you start talking to a random stranger who clearly just wants to get on with their shopping. Then you start asking quite personal questions and get offended when they have no desire to tell you. Perhaps I could be more polite but I really have no idea what to do, other than walk away, when strangers persist despite my scowly face and curt responses.


Pomgirl said...

Frasier: Well, Roz, I for one like to believe in the goodness of strangers.
Roz: Yeah well, I believe in the strangeness of strangers.

I'm with Roz on this one.

nailpolishblues said...

Makes two of us.

Armagnac Esq. said...

Your reluctance to chat is entirely reasonable.

I have a random, an old in every sense mate of my dad's, who calls on a regular basis wanting to chat about complete and utter crap, such as shows on TV et al. I just have no interest. I've been too nice, and now our relationship is the equivalent of if you had turned around, started talking to this clingon, and they'd stayed with you for the next 5 years.

nailpolishblues said...

Mr Esq.,
You paint a very disturbing picture. I really feel sorry for old people who do things like that. So sad, you know.
I think running away from this guy was probably a good thing. My creep radar was flashing long before he started speaking.