Slightly off-topic today, but I had an interesting lunch-hour and thought it was worth writing about.
Today I am in Dublin, a city in which I lived for a while over a decade ago. Whatever about then, nowadays I no longer know many people living here, and certainly don’t expect to bump into people I know like I would at home in Sligo.
Coming off the train earlier I stopped for lunch, and surprisingly within ten minutes had three different interactions, all with people I had met once before.
1 – I spotted a well-known broadcaster walking past the window. It’s not that long since I met him and I instinctively waved and smiled at him when he looked in the window. He gave me a sheepish wave back, one which said to me that he knew I knew who he was but he wasn’t quite sure who I was.
2 – A lady sat down at the table next to me who lived with my wife a long time ago. The opposite to the first encounter, she recognised me and I wasn’t quite sure who she was. However after she asked if I was who she thought I was, we had a very pleasant conversation.
3 – Her fiancé, also at the table, then spotted the President of our country in a car stuck in traffic outside the window. He looked in, we all waved, and he gave us a cheery wave back, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure he didn’t know who we were.
Three interactions. Three different dynamics. Three hellos with differing results. Each for their own reasons, but all making me feel slightly more at home in an unfamiliar city.
Say hello. What have you got to lose?