vrijdag 13 november 2015

Public transport and meeting new people

I'm a chatty person. I like to talk a lot, and if you know me, that's not a surprise. But apart from speaking, I'm a very good listener. People, the way they behave, why they behave like that; it fascinates me.
Before, I didn't travel by public transport that often. Since I moved to Eindhoven, I'm going by train every week. Today, I realised something; the past couple of months, I've been talking to foreign people quite a lot. And I wanted to share some special moments with you guys.

Let's start with carnaval (festive week in The Netherlands). I celebrated in Eindhoven with my lovely Lizzy and her friends. But the next morning, I had to wake up at 6:30, so I needed to head back in the evening already. On the train, I sat next to a girl and we started talking about her studies, my gap year and my doubts about where and what to study. Then she recommended Industrial Design at the TU Eindhoven - because of what I told her about myself - and voilà; that's exactly what I'm doing now! Thank you for that, girl!

The following memory was on the airplane on my way to Málaga (March 15, this year). I was on my own for the first time and very excited about what was going to happen. The people next to me were so kind, they were Spanish and the woman didn't speak English. So her husband tried to translate our conversation, because my Spanish was really bad at that time. But they taught me some, actually!

I remember being on my way home in Utrecht, when a guy with 4 suitcases entered the bus. I offered to help him, and he was very grateful. Then we had a conversation about where he was from. He told me he moved from Greece to The Netherlands, for a better life. It was so interesting, and I've actually seen him at the supermarket a couple of times.

Another moment was when I was travelling to Eindhoven. A lady sat next to me and I said something about how I love nature (because of the beautiful view), even though I'm a city girl. Together, we appreciated both cities and quiet places. The conversation subject changed to her life, my life, her daughters an how proud she was. They were all settled down, successful and did a lot of interesting things, which were inspiring. I just love to watch parents talk about how happy they are because their children are happy.

Today, a man came to sit next to me on the train. I was reading and listening to music, so not very focused on him. Then he got a phone call and it sounded Scandinavian. When I hear something that sounds like Danish or Swedish, I get really excited. Just love those people, okay? Anyways, I waited until he hung up and asked him where he was from. He was Norwegian - so, not Danish, but still Scandinavian. We had a little chat about languages and my Scandinavian friends, my gap year and his experiences here in The Netherlands. You could really tell that he was positively surprised by the fact that I asked him about his background and everything. It made me smile. Takk for i dag, whoever you may be!

I can come up with a couple more, but I just want to say how grateful I can be for a good conversation with people I don't know. Sometimes, I miss the openness of people in Málaga, how easy it is to meet new people there. I actually made friends on the beach and at a bar, just by approaching them and have a little conversation. But here, in the Netherlands, there are more than enough people who are willing to speak, instead of playing games in their phones, as well. As long as you're kind, polite and relaxed, you'll get that back. I wish I could have moments like those all the time. It gives me so much energy, it makes me feel so good. You can find happiness in the easiest ways. Just pay attention.

XO Josie

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