Thursday, August 16, 2007

Making Friends

So far I’ve seen the inside of my hotel room and the inside of my client’s office. I did manage to take a walk yesterday to the ATM, saw scenery I thought would be cool to take, and ripped my pants in the process of trying to take a picture. I have like 2 casual (chilling pants with me for the month) uhhh! The office driver has offered to take them to the local tailor to get them fixed and for that I’m grateful. I’m also grateful I got a tetanus shot before I came and my skin didn’t get pierced when I climbed over the iron gate.

Whenever I travel for work I’m usually either going to a project office where there are local staff and foreign staff working or I’m traveling with 3 or 4 other consultants for a specific assignment. I’m generally never the only consultant on an assignment where we don’t have a project office which is the situation I’m in now. For me that has meant a lot of nights ordering room service which I’m not used to at all. When I’m traveling I usually have dinner with my teammates at least several times a week and if we’re new to a particular country we make plans to go sightseeing together on the weekend.

This trip is a bit different as I’m alone really and although the client is here they haven’t offered to meet up for dinner and/or offered to take me sightseeing. That’s fine because they live here and have their own lives going on and honestly they hired me to do a job, they don’t need to play Julie cruise director and I hate feeling like I’m imposing or forcing myself on people. So now I’m on a mission to make some friends because at this pace, I’m going to finish up all the casual reading material I brought with me way before my departure date.

So I’m on a mission to make friends, which I’m finding is pretty hard and awkward for me. I’m not one of those people who just randomly strike up a conversation with strangers. I often wonder how people come off a plane with a new best friend. I sit down, dig out my reading materials and put on the headphones.

So now I just have to work on getting out of my comfort zone because this traveling alone stuff is so not what I’m used to.


Luke Cage said...

Ooooh my island sista, you're in luck and I'll tell you why. As your haitian brother, I can tell you that this is my corner of the cosmos that I rule so very well.

In fact, when I came back from San Diego I gained a new admirer from the flight. But, that's a post that's actually coming up, so all of the details will be there.

As for you, I don't know if it's something one can just turn on, but sometimes just being in a public place will do the trick. Besides, I'm sure they'll come to you. You're pretty ez on the eyes (wink)

You got Old Skool right there luv "Julie cruise director?" Someone loved the Love Boat ;)

c2a said...

This post makes me imagine you as a photo-journalist travelling the world, switching languages, and taking pictures that say what a 1000 word description could not.

Good luck meeting people. My sis just took a two-week trip to Australia- alone. She met quite a few folks from various countries. I am not so courageous. I have found that public transit is a good place to strike up a conversation.

Quel said...

Good luck!

The OE said...

I can relate. I too have had wardrobe malfunctions while off on a secret mission. I remember this one time in XXXXXXXX, XX...

For some reason it seems like most of my missions have been solo gigs so, again like you, there's no one to go eat with unless you go with contacts which can often be unsavory. No pun intended. My solution is that I try to get out and eat something local. Thus, when in XXXXXX, XX I ended up in a restaurant with scantily clad women. I make sure to bring my cell phone/mp3 player/secret agent combo device for entertainment if there isn't any.

At the end of this trip you will probably be the one giving ME advice.

CreoleInDC said...

First...lemme find out you're over there trespassing climbing over fences. LOL! I just can't imagine sweet, ladylike Honest climbing over a fence. LOL!

What about the driver? Can't he suggest some places for you to visit? He sounds very accomodating.

I hate thinking of you over there alone in your hotel room. If you wanna get on IM or play spades or know how to get me.

GeckoGirl said...

Okay, but where is this picture you risked life and pants for??? :-)

cee said...

I can relate about the difficulty that one faces when trying to make friends in a "friendless" place. I guess I'm still doing that here. Every friend of mine lives up North, and I guess I haven't acclimated as I thought I would. I find that I met the most random people in random concerts and, unfortunately, at eatin and drinking spots.

AG said...

Make sure you post some pics of your latest adventure ;) Oh yeah, I believe females are more receptive on flights. Especially long cross country trips.