Sometimes traveling on your own can be lonely. I can miss the sound of voices conversing with me. But if I hang out in a tourist spot for a few hours, hearing the banal drivvle that some call conversation cures me of that quite quickly.
Traveling solo is practically permission to focus on what people are actually saying to each other AND I get to guess the reasons why. How parents talk to their children. How lovers – old and young – talk to each other. The passive aggression. The controlling superiority. The waspish snap of judgement. The indifference.
And then like a light in the midst – a dad and his son walk through the throng holding hands. He’s pointing out what there is and why it comes to be here and they learn something new together. Smiling. Awesome.
Give me deep conversations. The ones with meaning, not glib opinion. The debates and connections, not the trivia and shallow observations. I want the stories of living a life, not the tasks and to do lists. And to hell with those speaking to hear their own voices. They seem to be everywhere. I imagine them talking in movies – pointing out something that no one else can possibly miss because it’s 40foot tall in front of us all.
You can keep the endless roundabouts of two people agreeing with each other – fine tuning their identical points of view with an insignificant nuance. What do they end up with? It’s boring and pointless. They haven’t solved the problems of the world, but they certainly look pleased with themselves.
People watching and listening – now I can spend hours doing that.