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Past Smalltalk When Traveling

Hi Sebastian,

This is first time actually contacting you, or anybody through blog for that matter. But you make it almost too easy(you must be bombarded with e-mail, good luck!).

I'm interested to know your strategy or preference on maximizing meaningful conversations abroad or even back home. I mean do you have any particular tactic or is it mostly random. Any public places or events that stir up conversations with strangers, any small talk lines or questions(etc. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?) that lead to insight and good conversation.

I'm from Finland and I'm going to travel a bit in asia(Okinawa, Seoul, Katmandu, Bhutan) and I find conversations as the best way to learn and experience different cultures. It would be such a waste to do it randomly if it there's is a way to do it most efficient way.

If you have any book recommendations, please make them available in amazon.co.uk with your affiliate id I would be happy to support you somehow.

When in Rome: Lessons in Language

On Imported Blog

Picture yourself as a tourist in another country. Rather, allow me to paint you a picture. A tourist from another country visits an english speaking country and needs simple directions to their hotel. The exchange between them and that local can be quite unpleasant and uninviting if basic phrases aren't understood. As native english speakers, we sometimes expect travelers to speak or understand basic english simply because we do.

Because I grew up in Europe and was fortunate enough to learn quite a few languages, I am empathetic to the sensitivities of language and associated barriers. Do I urge you to crack open a quick pocket translator before you embark on your next trip? Absolutely. I'm not advocating fluency in 7 languages, but learning basic communication can go a long way.

 

Words or phrases that I suggest?

1. Do you speak English? 2. My name is _____________. 3. Can you speak slowly? 4. Where can I find a bus/taxi? 5. Where can I find a train/metro? 6. Can you take me to the airport please? 7. How much does this cost? 8. Do you take credit cards? 9. Where is the nearest bathroom? 10. Where can I get something to eat? 11. Can you show me on a map how to get there? 12. Will you write that down for me? 13. I need help. 14. I’m lost. 15. I am an American citizen. 16. Please call the American Embassy. 17. Please call the police. 18. I need a doctor. 19. My blood type is ______. 20. I’m allergic to _______.

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